Schiff Questions Samantha Power on UN Action on Kessab

UN Ambassador Samantha Power was questioned by Rep. Adam Schiff

WASHINGTON—Most United Nations Security Council members have “raised the issue” of the recent takeover of the historically Armenian town of Kessab, Syria, and urged the world body “to do more to meet the needs of these people,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and members of a key House Appropriations panel Wednesday during a Congressional hearing, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

“We join with Armenians across California and around America in thanking Congressman Schiff for raising the plight of the Armenians driven out of Kessab with Ambassador Power,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We appreciate Ambassador Power’s statement that Kessab is ‘an issue of huge concern,’ and value her explanation to Congress about the UN Security Council’s efforts to help the Armenian civilians driven from their homes by extremist militants. We will continue to work, in partnership with our friends in Congress, to encourage our government to speak directly to the cause of Kessab’s suffering – namely the clear complicity of Turkey in the al-Qaeda linked attack that drove more than 2,000 Armenians from their ancestral homes.”

The ANCA has called on the Senate and House Intelligence committees to investigate Turkey’s role in the recent attacks against the Kessab civilian population. A new action alert has been posted and has received broad support following social media posts by citizens and celebrities alike.

During a question and answer session at the House Appropriations Committee State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing with Ambassador Power earlier today, Rep. Schiff asked “About a week ago, the town of Kessab, which is predominantly Armenian Christian, was attacked by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had crossed over from Turkey and the town was emptied in a bloody assault. Many of the residents are descendants of the Armenian Genocide and there is particular poignancy in them being targeted in this manner.” Rep. Schiff went on to ask what efforts the United Nations and its agencies are making to address the crisis.

Ambassador Power, noting that the recent attacks on Kessab are a “huge concern,” went on to note that: “Most of the [UN Security] Council members raised the issue of Kessab, calling on the UN to do more, to try to meet the needs of these people. […] I would note that, unfortunately, the extremist group that appears to have taken hold of that town is not one that the United States and the United Nations overall has a great deal of leverage over. And so, our emphasis now, is on supporting the moderate opposition in Syria that is taking on those extremist groups and making sure that the UN has the funding it needs, and the resources of all kinds that it needs to accommodate […] in this case, the Syrian Armenian community, as you said, an internally displaced population flow. So, it’s resources, it’s strengthening the moderate opposition which is taking on ISIL – the very group that appears to have taken over that town – making sure that none of the neighbors are giving support to terrorist groups or extremist groups which would aid their efforts in seizures like that, and going on a funding drive internationally because only a very small percentage of the UN funding appeal for Syria generally has been filled at this point.”

Located in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, evaded major battles in the Syrian conflict. The local Armenian population had increased in recently years with the city serving as safe-haven for those fleeing from the war-torn cities of Yacubiye, Rakka and Aleppo. On the morning of March 21st, extremist foreign fighters launched a vicious attack, from Turkey, on Kessab civilians, forcing over 2000 to flee to neighboring Latakia and Bassit. An international social media campaign – #SaveKessab – has garnered broad media attention to the tragedy with over 100,000 tweeting about the crisis and tens of thousands calling for immediate U.S. and U.N. action.

In a statement issued last week, the U.S. State Department noted that they are “deeply troubled by recent fighting and violence that is endangering the Armenian community in Kasab, Syria and has forced many to flee. There are far too many innocent civilians suffering as a result of the war. All civilians, as well as their places of worship, must be protected.” The statement went on to note that “We have long had concerns about the threat posed by violent extremists and this latest threat to the Armenian community in Syria only underscores this further.”

Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) have condemned the attacks and urged the State Department to investigate Turkey’s involvement. In a joint letter to President Obama issued earlier today, Congressional Armenian Caucus co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.227) lead authors David Valadao (R-CA) and Adam Schiff, commented on the Kessab attacks, noting ” When coupled with a mass exodus of the Armenian community, these events are far too reminiscent of the early days of the Armenian Genocide, which took place nearly 100 years ago in Ottoman Turkey under the cover of World War I.” The letter goes on to note,” With the Christian Armenian community being uprooted from its homeland, yet again, we strongly urge you to take all necessary measures without delay to safeguard the Christian Armenian community of Kessab. We also believe that now is the time to redouble America’s efforts to ensure that all minority communities at risk in the Middle East are afforded greater protection.”

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12 Comments

  1. Serj Bulanikian said:

    UN can do absolutely nothing. It is a paper tiger. They will show “sorrow”, they will “condamn” atrocities….then what????

  2. Ana Garver said:

    The question is. When is US and other benevolent countries will STOP TURKEY’s bad attitude and ill will to other countries, past, present and most likely future since NO can stop them, verses helping people that need help because TURKEY’s hatred and prejudice to other counties/nations. There is no need to spend money, if you (US) can stop and US can if they want to, aiding TURKEY, with our tax payers money. We are the citizens of US when can we be heard? It’s about time.
    Thanks for reading
    Ana Garver

  3. Ruby Minas said:

    United States and the West should not investigate this Kessab incident since it is obvious that Turkey has downed a Syrian Armey plane in order for the extremists to be able to get into Kessab.
    Armenians in Kessab were living perfectly in peace and now that West’s “valuebal ally!!! the all time savage turkey” has sent those mercenaries to take over the houses and the churches in Kessab. United Nation and the West want to help the Armenians, How? The best help is not arming those stupid mercenaries, send them back to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Chechnya.
    It seems that United states is at war with every country in this world, they should spend the money for their own people of USA if these people are considered the citizens of USA.
    Turkey is taking orders from Israel, since they are used to do their dirty works in the name of someone else and Israel does not like the fact that its effort to ruin Syria like the other Arab countries such as Egypt, Iraq and so on has been stopped by Syria’s friends.
    It is a shame that in 21-ST century some people are not civilized and changed.
    The worst thing is to cover this act under the name of Moslims killing Christians and starting a religious war. If Moslims were bad why they accepted the Armenians who had escaped from the turkey’s Genocide in their country and were always friendly towards them. So don’t put these savages that turkey has gathered to invade and kill Syrians as real Moslims. Christians are not stupid and they know who is the Satan!
    Enough is enough, how many wars should be going on.

    • Ro said:

      I agree with you on some of your message. But you’re definitely wrong about Turkey being kind to Armenians. Please read your history book on Armenians and Turks before you assume things. Also, you don’t know the real facts about current situation in Kessab. Turks have never been kind to the Armenians, they have beaten up, tortured, massacred and killed Armenian babies, children, young men and women, as well as elderly because they are Christians. They did exactly the same killings again in Kessab Syria just last month and still are today!!! My young 26 year old cousin was murdered point blank by a Turkish rebel who are muslims and supported by Al-Qaeda. Turks definitely kill Armenians to reduce the Christian civilization. They killed 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 to annihilate the Christian civilization and took over 3/4 of the Armenian peoples land, properties and personal belongings. They robbed all Armenians!!! I have family who survived the 1915 massacre and they have talked about the horrific tragedy Turks did to our entire family. Just like we have proof they are killing Armenians again! They are savages!!! NO Armenian will EVER forget what Turks do to the Armenians. Turks still deny everything they do and they will never accept the truth on what kind of liars and animals they are. If they accepted 1915’s massacre, they would need to fund Armenia a lot of $$$ for what they did. Just like Germany pays Israel for what they did to the Jewish people. It’s not the Turks who help the Armenians in Turkey, it’s other Armenians who have been living there for thousands (original Armenia land) of years but changed their names to survive. Turks have never done anything good for the Armenians. They have assassinated all the Armenian who have written books about 1915. The Turks hate the Armenians, they always have and always will. Why? Because Armenians are Christians!

  4. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Armenians know who are the Turks very well…
    “Kill, Rape, Confiscate, Lie, Deny…”
    This is their motto… and their genes…
    No one can change their DNA…
    Turks use to cut Armenian and Kurdish tongues
    during Ottoman era…If they spoke their mother tongue
    and trained their people on this criminal concept–––
    “If you kill any Armenian you go to heaven”
    So they stated killing 1.5 in 1915 till today and since they arrived a millennium before,Thus, count how many they butchered by their scimitars to define their ––– Genocides after Genocide…!!!
    Thus Armenians became Minority and they are Majority…
    And according to recent studies, 10% of Turks have Armenian genes…through rape and Turkification (I don’t like to use Islamatization, because they did change the identity of Armenians,name,surname, language, culture,ethnicity, religion, evem they applied on Arabs who are muslims before themArabs call it Tattrek (turkification) …As they say the Turkish President Gul’s grandmothers are Turkified Armenian…I need more information… !!!

  5. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Armenians know who are the Turks very well…
    “Kill, Rape, Confiscate, Lie, Deny…”
    This is their motto… and their genes…
    No one can change their DNA…
    Turks use to cut Armenian and Kurdish tongues
    during Ottoman era…If they spoke their mother tongue
    and trained their people on this criminal concept–––
    “If you kill any Armenian you go to heaven”
    So they stated killing 1.5 in 1915 till today and since they arrived a millennium before,Thus, count how many they butchered by their scimitars to define their ––– Genocides after Genocide…!!!
    Thus Armenians became Minority and they are Majority…
    And according to recent studies, 10% of Turks have Armenian genes…through rape and Turkification (I don’t like to use Islamatization, because they did change the identity of Armenians,name,surname, language, culture,ethnicity, religion, evem they applied on Arabs who are muslims before themArabs call it Tattrek (turkification) …As they say the Turkish President Gul’s grandmothers are Turkified Armenian…and many others…How can one reject and insult his natural genes…did humanity reach such a degree? but fear from turkish scimitar can do any thing…changing honesty to lie and act cruel…and deny…!!!

  6. HERAYER said:

    amazing cover up!!!not one word about turkey’s participation on the attack of kessab BY foreign terrorists just look at the map THE only possible way is from turkey, i guess they want us to believe they came from the sky,!!! WHAT AN OBVIOUS COVER-UP!!!! WHERE IS THE CONDEMNATION OF TURKEY FOR SUPPORTING THESE SAVAGES. NO BODY WANT’S THEM IN SYRIA THESE ARE MERCENARIES HIRED BY THE ENEMIES OF SYRIA. GOD FORBID THESE ANIMALS SHOULD GOVERN SYRIA.

  7. Mihran said:

    The usual load of rubbish coming from the US state department and its UN Representative Samantha Power.

    Do not trust a word of what the US is saying or rely, as its track record on Armenian issues stinks.

  8. Silver Fox said:

    It is time that the US and western governments installed trade and diplomatic penalties on Turkey for aiding and abetting terrorism.

  9. Mihran said:

    How is he going to explain the fact that Schiff wants a regime change in Syria and has been a staunch supporter of anti Assad forces [Terrorists backed by the US.] and wanted to bomb Syria.

    He also voted for regime changes in Iraq and Libya and would like a regime change in Iran,it would be right to label me a warmonger along with senator McCain and others.

    How does he fit into the narrative of being a friend of the Armenian nation?only by using certain G word and fooling the Armenian electorate.

    NO we need to SEE much more than that in order to be convinced and have any confidence in him.

    • Sarkis said:

      The Armenian diaspora is very politically immature and these politicians can get away with murder so long as they use the word genocide. And unfortunately, there is no real leadership within the disapora, the existing parties and lobbying groups are worthless and don’t have any incentive to promote critical thinking.

      As for schiff, he is a run of the mill opportunist. He is jewish, so naturally he puts israel first and only gives lip service to his Armenian voters and donators. It’s foolish to see so many Armenians swoon over him.

  10. Alex Postallian said:

    Why do they put the dumbest people in the state dept….OR DO THEY HAVE A FOR SALE SIGN,ON THEIR BACKS…….

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