Armenian Families Evacuated as Turkey Continues to Pounce on Syrian Targets

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A map of the Turkish incursion in Syria and its imagined security zone

A map of the Turkish incursion in Syria and its imagined security zone

As Turkey continued its attack on cities in northeastern Syrian on Thursday, Armenians living in the Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli are caught in the crossfire, but are being evacuated.

Of the 16 Armenian families living in the Syrian city of Tel Abyad, 13 have voluntarily evacuated and are on their way to the Hasakah province and Aleppo, Armen Melkonyan, the Armenian foreign ministry’s director of the Middle East and Africa desk told Azatutyun.am.

Melkonyan pointed out that the most densely Armenian-populated city in northeastern Syria is Qamishli, which has a population of around 3,000 Armenians—approximately 400 to 420 families. He explained that Qamishli came under attack once on Wednesday and that because Syrian government forces are controlling the area, the need for evacuating the area has not arisen yet.

“Our embassy in Damascus is in constant contact with the [Qamishli] community leaders and they, at this juncture, do not want to evacuate because there is no imminent danger yet,” explained Melkonyan.

There are reports that Armenian families in Ras al-Ayn have also begun evacuation procedures

“We are following the developments. We are working with the Armenian prelacies both in Damascus and Aleppo to provide our compatriots, who want to move from Syria’s north, with temporary shelters and give them necessary aid,” said the Armenian Embassy in Damascus in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Dozens of Armenian families have already left their home from the city of Tell Abyad which is under direct attack and moved to safer ground, such as Aleppo and Hasakah. As of this moment there is no task to immediately evacuate our compatriots,” added the Armenian Embassy in Damascus.

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