An Appeal to All Armenians Across the World from the Armenians of Kessab

Armenian evacuees from Kessab gather in the courtyard of an Armenian church in Latakia

LATAKIA, Syria—The Armenians of Kessab, having fled from attacks by militant extremists from Turkey and currently living in refuge in Latakia, have issued an appeal addressed to all Armenians across the world. The full text of the letter is below.

“On Mother’s Day, March 21, 2014, our beautiful town was brutally attacked by Al-Qaeda linked extremists, with the blessings and full military and logistical support of the Turkish government.

“Before sunrise, we woke up to the horror of a shower of missiles and rockets falling on our town. Thousands of extremists crossed the borders towards our town. Missiles were fired from Turkey to destroy beautiful Kessab and to celebrate the approach of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Kessabtsi heroes defended the town with their simple hunting weapons until more forces from the Syrian government came to fight back the horrific attack on our town. If Kessabtsis were not informed to leave their houses by those heroes, the world would have silently witnessed yet another genocide and stood by while the media gave them yet another version of lies.

“Kessab has always been home to thousands of Armenians for centuries. The first agonizing tragedy in Kessab happened in April 1909, when a rabble of thousands of Turkish men attacked Kessab, robbing and burning houses. 161 Armenians were killed in this brutal attack. In 1915, during the Armenian genocide, Turkish troops came into Kessab and started deporting Armenians and killed almost 5000 Armenian people from Kessab. The Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks in 1915 took the lives of one and a half million Armenians. More Armenians are getting killed and will get killed in Syria if nothing is done. The Arabs in Syria took us in then, took care of us, helped us back on our feet and helped us survive through that horrible memory of death and destruction and we will be eternally grateful to them. Since then we lived in peace and harmony with other sects, like a huge family in a home called Syria.

“Today, we need help once again, because sadly the Turkish government dared to attack Armenians one more time ignoring the Armenian case. With this act Turkey has refused, yet again, to recognize the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks and is assisting in the murder of more Armenians in Syria. We have nothing against the Turkish people. We have lived as neighbors with them and want to continue to live as neighbors with them. It is the Turkish government, supporting and facilitating the murder of Kessabtsis by terrorists, that we plea against. We just want our town back, or what remains of it. We are heartbroken by the numerous videos and photographs that show how those extremists are destroying and burning our beautiful town. All Syrians know that wherever those extremists get in, only death and destruction is left behind.

“Our homes have been taken from us, centuries of our heritage has been destroyed.

“This is a call to all Armenians. This is a call to humanity. The world needs to hear the truth. Erdogan and his government are war criminals. We need your help. We need you to take action. Our lives depend on the chance that you will do something to make sure we too don’t die. We were forced out of our homes and our town with nothing but the clothes we wear. If we stayed to gather even the bare necessities, we would have definitely died. Most of us cannot even escape because we don’t have our passports or documents of identification. Please, invoke the intervention of your governments, of the UN, of any other authority that you believe can help us. All we want to do is live. If you ignore this, we all will die a horrible death at the hands of these terrorists, by being butchered in cold blood like many other Armenians in Aleppo, Yacoubiyeh, Ghenemiyeh, and around Syria.

“Those who you call rebels are extremists who came to Syria for jihad with many nationalities amongst them like Afghans, Chechens, and Saudis. Kessabtsis and all of Syria saw them and were attacked and killed by them. The media can’t hide the truth forever. Those who you call rebels were targeting and attacking civilians.

“Don’t you think enough innocent blood has been spilled? Don’t you think enough destruction has been done? We all lived peacefully and happily just three years ago. This is not a revolution, this is war. And the Syrian army is now in Kessab fighting to make sure Armenians will go back to their homes safely.”


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  1. Ohan said:

    This is unacceptable, Kessab should have been defended better…and not by hunting guns (as stated in “Appeal to All Armenians Across the World from the Armenians of Kessab”). Kessab is part of historic Cilicia, and Armenian political parties in conjunction with Armenia should have done the utmost to be ready for this moment. It was not IF but WHEN this was going to happen… Kessabtsies could have been trained in Artsakh and a few hundred Artsakh fighters could have been brought over to supplement the Syrian Army. For God’s sake if we, Western Armenians have resigned from Western Armenia and Cilicia then let’s say so…if not then let’s fight our own fights instead of relying on others…there goes the saying “If there’s a will then there’s a way”…Artsakh proved it…and the Kurds are proving it in Syria too…again KESSAB IS PART OF HISTORIC CILICIA, ANJAR IS LEBANON (or historic Syria)…

  2. Hratch said:

    It’s one thing to demand justice and assistance, but actually praising Assad and his regime blows the argument out of the water. This is all a result of the regime’s response to the initial peaceful protests. Their response invested these terrorists, enough that it also through the West into a dilemma of who to arm. The fact is that the regime should be held responsible for Kessab’s misery.

    …..“We all lived peacefully and happily just three years ago. This is not a revolution, this is war. And the Syrian army is now in Kessab fighting to make sure Armenians will go back to their homes safely.”

    • Gerard said:

      Poor Hratch, wake up ,sit down and study,observe and weigh the entire political situation of Syria and what it represents as one of the few resisting nations remaining against Israel after all other puppet Arab countries were brought down to their knees .What makes you believe that “initial peaceful protest ” was NOT a scenario and prelude to fulfilment of the plan fabricated and sponsored by Israel and US. to bring down one of the strongest bastion of resistance against the advancement and security for Israel ? And don’t blame “regime’s response the initial peaceful protest ” . Now go back to the first word I used to my respond to you…..Wake up brother .

      • Raph said:

        Gerard, stop deluding yourself with conspiracy theories of why and how Israel started the Arab spring and instead realise and understand that Hratch is saying that the Assad government is as at much fault as the rebels for all the death and destruction occurring in all of Syria. Also, there is really no need to be so rude and condescending.

    • Alis said:

      Lol Hratch your obviously from the states or just someone who believes the lies of the west and the media… I feel sorry for you.. just like Gerard said wake up. Do your own research and not just listen to the news….
      Why would the Assad regime all of a sudden turn on its people?
      why are Christians suddenly being killed for their beliefs, when they lived so peacefully and free to practice their religion under the “dictatorship” of the Assad regime… come on, seriously, its time the world stops being so ignorant.

    • Steve said:

      In other words, you are claiming that “to demand justice and assistance” is an invalid demand if you happen to be a Syrian who supports the Syrian government (or just a Syrian who does not support living in or, more likely, dying under an Islamist tyrany). And to actually cite “Washington’s view” as some sort of standard of veracity! Really!!

    • Gerard said:

      Dear Hratch, don’t worry I’ll protest the ” Assad regime ” about the Ban’s report and their concern of ” magnitude and frequency of violence committed by Assad regime that far outstriped that of the the peaceful , dove waving ,A R M E D G R O U P S in syria. I’ll advise them use of slingshot instead of bullets so that they don’t feel pain as much . !@#$%^&*()

  3. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    Turkey must be condemed for the attackes and killing of armenians in Kessab. Turkey has always backed extrimists finting against Armenians.

  4. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    Turkey must be punished for supporting killings in Kessab. Turkey was is always hostile to Armenians, we never forget the 1915 Armenian Genocid.

  5. Sokimag said:

    We, Armenians, must do something to protect those Armenians in Syria. We must pressure the West to stop funding those terrorists groups and condemn Turkey for his role to assist those savage terrorists.

  6. Pete said:

    If America accepted the Armenian Genocide, this would be less likely to happen. Thank you Obama

  7. gaytzag palandjian said:

    A contingent or two of those blue-berets Armenian soldiers that have served in kosovo and Afganistan,plus some¨legionaires¨(Armenian) would indeed teach those halabazoo some real lesson!!!
    Where are you Giragos(Armenian saying).That´s why i keep pumping into the heads of some…that those youngsters who go to Ra for a monthj ,besides language, culture and history ought to do some military cadet training with the local conscripts…instead of ¨Ari Tun¨¨ bonfires and Air gun shopoting (as a formality9 latter started after I had written in this respect a few times..
    So who´´s kidding who.Do you kid????
    Both Oli´s(in homeland) and BBBs,( abroad) are synonyms of ea other .Period.Take care…

  8. Vahe Apelian said:

    Thie manner in which this appeal is communicated raises questions and concerns. Is this written on behalf of an ad hoc committee to oversee the issues the Kessabtsis turned refugees in their own country need? Why is the name of the committee is not mentioned. Traditionally Kessabtsis have had representatives of the three Armenian denominations come together in weather such crisis. Who are these representatives and why are not they public signatories of the appeal?Why was this appeal not sent directly to Armenian media but was sent to an individual? The manner and the circumstances with which this serious appeal is issued needs clarification.

  9. Orbeli said:

    Send a copy of this message to your local legislators, as well as the members of congress who represent your region. Also include a note of explanation, in your own words, so that they may have a better sense of what’s going on.

  10. Cristian Nalbandian said:

    This is unaccpetable how could we let this people live on like this

  11. Rich said:

    Let’s not loose sight in armchair politics. Turkeys aided these terror groups as well as fired off artillery into Syria. This is a clear act of unprovolked miitary aggression and support of al-Caida. The Turkish government should be put on trial for war crimes in the international court.

  12. Steve said:

    I note that my question regarding the genuiness of this letter still awaits moderation, yet the response I gave to Hratch’s post has appeared without problems. Is this a tacit admission that the letter is, as I suspect, a fake, or that you are still investigating its origin? Or is it that you just don’t want awkward questions asked?

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