Armenians Among 11 Kidnapped on Route to Aleppo

Masked gunmen kidnap 11

A Beirut-Aleppo bound bus was stopped on Monday by armed masked men who stormed the bus and after letting women and children free kidnapped 11 people, seven of whom Armenians, sources in Aleppo reported.

The bus, part of the regular service operated by “Zeitoun Tours” left Beirut for Aleppo at 7:30 a.m. Just before 6 p.m. in Sarakeb, Syria, half hour away from Aleppo, the masked men stormed the bus kidnapping the 11. Aside from the seven Armenians, two are Arab Christians and another two Kurds, who were moved to a van that drove away from the site of the incident.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry released the name of five of the kidnapped. The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan released the following names: Garo Bambelian, Arsen Aroian, Levon Zeitunian, as well as Bashar and George Rabat.

Aleppo Prelacy spokesperson Jirayr Reyisian stated that a sixth passenger named Koko, whose last name has not been confirmed yet, is also among the victims of this attack.

Reyisian denied reports that individuals have been contacted about a possible ransom.

This incident occurred on the same day as the St. Kevork Armenian Church located in the Nor Kyugh neighborhood of Aleppo was set ablaze.

“The inside of the church, including offices and artifacts have been badly burned,” said spokesman of the Syrian Prelacy Reyisian, who spoke by telephone with the Beirut-based Aztag newspaper.

“The recently closed Mesrobian Armenian school, which is adjacent to the church, including its kindergarten and elementary school buildings have been severely damaged,” added Reyisian.

“In light of this barbaric act, we condemn this criminal act with the conviction and belief that those responsible for these inhumane acts against placed of worship, starting with the historic Mosque to other places of prayer and now the St. Kevork Church, will be punished,” added Reyisian


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  1. Kevork said:

    Yet more proof of what we’re dealing with: irrelevant, your average run-of-the-mill terrorists. The Christians in this conflict have remained neutral, so what do they have anything to do with “regime change”? If anything these bastards have proven they are not legitimate for anything… not socially, not religiously, not morally, not human-wise and sure as hell not as a government.

    Thanks to countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other terrorist nations, innocent people are suffering for no reason at all, other than the greed of the west, which is being exploited as a religious war by likes of the US and EU.

  2. steve said:

    why on earth are these armenians still in syria ! they should be mentally sharp enough to JUST LEAVE !!!!!
    go to Armenia !!!

    • bigmoustache said:

      and end our long presence in syria?
      is that your solution if war broke out in beirut or jerusalem?
      it would be terrible for the entire armenian nation if our presence in the middle east ended.

    • Hovig said:

      Absolutely right Steve. After all what we experienced and witnessed in the Middle east, I suppose countries proved that they are absolutely not decision-makers but “political servents”. My self as a Lebanese, relatively more convinced than other Armenians in other regional countries (maybe!!), still I back your and insist on Armenia.
      Let all our human values fight for THE country they should have so far fought for!! At least we will maintain the right trend for the right future…for our country!! something that have been trying but we were ‘asked’ to fail…!!

    • Serouj Baghdassarian said:

      Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. leaving everything behind and leaving isnt that easy..

      • GB said:

        Seouj, sooner or later Armenians have no other choices but to leave entire Middle Eastern counties for their own safety, these wars are just the beginning… there will be more blood shade in the future!!As long as there is oil there will be blood!! Armenians should move their businesses to Armenia and resettle there for our future generation!! There is plenty of room in Artsakh where people can produce and do business with outside world!!

      • noupar said:

        That is what we did with my parents and in 1976 left Lebanon with 4 luggage 4 handbags and 4 shoulder bags 100 dollars in my pocket,now we count our blessings,I wish Armenia will create the opportunity and atmosphere to run a business without hidden agendas lots of us will go there I am sure.

  3. Hay said:

    We’ve seen this game played a hundred times before. These “freedom wanting peace loving” “rebels” of today supported by the West now will be labelled terrorists tomorrow. It’s laughable how easily it still works. All you need is some media sob story of poor Syrians being mistreated by big bad Assad and the masses gobble it up. Now we even have Turkey(!) accusing Assad of massacres. Wow

    • Gary_S said:

      The Assad regime is “evil” because they kill civilans. How about the rebels? Are they “evil” too? They kidnap and kill civilians.
      How about the US and the Union Army killed civilians during the Civil War? The US and West are hypocrites.

  4. Kevork Hagopian said:

    I just left a comment regarding the story about the burned Armenian Church. I am sorry I am going to lose my temper and explode. Armenians all over the world should hold the U.S. Israel and Turkey for all the problems in Syria. The U.S. government and Israel do not accept or recognize the Armenian Genocide carried on by Turkey during W.W.I. Wake up Armenians, don’t you know who our enemies are? America is not a Christian country. Imagine what would happen if a Jew or a synanogue are destroyed. The whole U.S. media (CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC Etc.) will never stop telling the news. Do you hear anything about Armenian Christian tragedies? NO NO NO. Armenians should convert to Judaism.

  5. Harout said:

    I know its difficult to leave behind your home and business and what ever else you can’t travel with but Armenians should have already been out of Syria by now, taken their cash, gold and important documents etc. And just fled unless you want to fight these salafi monkeys and turks ! I personally feel I can put up a damn good fight with these morons considering my Armenian fighting spirit and my knowledge of firearms and Marksman ship but what for when I know who is supporting these maggots ? Turkey, Dumb France, EU, Dumbfakistan (U.S) …. I refuse to Die for a dozen Armenians that that didn’t want to leave their home behind so it does not get vandalized? If needed I would only fight for My Armenia and Artsakh against any invaders or aggressors of our precious lands !

  6. Barkev Bardizbanian, M.D. said:

    I condemn with strongest terms the setting ablaze of St. Kevork Church in Aleppo. This church was established by my grandfather Der Barkev, and his parish, with great sacrifices. It is a little known secret that he and the Trusties named it St. Kevork using my grandfather’s first name, (before prieshood). His wise arguement was to dissuade the Armenians to go for pilgrimage to “St. Georges” site near Aleppo, and come to “St. Kevork Church”, equivalent to “St. Georges” and spend their faithful days and donations to Armenian causes. It did work!
    My father, the late Haroutune Bardizbanian, together with faithful board of Trusties, spent months in money collection effors to renovate the church in 1958 with a new interior, including those pink collumnes at the Alter donated by a faithful Marashtsi. IT IS SO SAD TO SEE THOSE PICTURES!
    Well, this is the new world we live in. Armenians still love the Arab people, specially the hospitable Syrian Arabs who sheltered us after genocide. What is happening is an abberation for arab hospitality, and it seems not to discriminate any Syrian, regardless of origin,ethnicity or anything else. It is CRAZY and unimaginable short few years ago. It’s not as easy as some writers are saying” Just Leave”. Where to go, how,who will help except God.

    • AR said:

      Go to Armenia, the actual homeland of Armenians. EU, Russia, US, and Middle east are not the homelands of Armenians!

    • sirvart gazelian said:

      hallo barkev yes sirvart gazelian em ko tasengerouhit messroubian varjaran germanyaen hajakh
      zvart koutoujianin hed ge kousim mez zav e mezi hamar polor hishadagner gorsentznel
      4 dari mangabardez yev 6 dari naghgrtaran payz hous unim garj shamanagin mech bidi
      lavana ev polor hayere veratarnan halb

  7. Padova said:

    I agree with Kevork. Over the years, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are getting very immoral and evil. They are full of hatred towards Christians, Allavis, Shiias etc. Most of all, Turkey is on the top of the hatred list against Christians, specifically towards Armenians. It’s not enough for committing a Genocide in 1915, presently, Turkey is continuing that Genocide. In my view, the people that should be blamed for this destruction of property and massacring innocent civilians including elderly people, women and children in Syria; the order comes from the Turkish generals. Turkey’s leadership is behind these terrorists; they are up in arms to change the regime in Syria. The well being of the people in Syria means nothing to them. This leadership is full of deceit and manipulation.

  8. Heghapokhagan said:

    Where is The CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters…. Where are they??? why don’t they broadcast this news?? Is it because they don’t want to reveal the truth to the world how criminal & Barbaric these so called free rebel fighters are? Or is it because this news will cripple the conspiracy!

    • Tony said:

      Well, the news are not about Jews suffering under the unarmed Palestinian population in Gaza and Westbank. Christian men, children, women and elderly suffering in Syria and arround the Middle East doesn’t count or matter for CNN and the others including the State Department.

  9. sevag said:

    This is another reason why the US should not support these terrorists. As why Armenians are still there. Where should they be. Syria is their home and they have lived there for centuries. There were Armenians in Aleppo before The Germans immigrated to the US.

  10. Heghapokhagan said:

    This is an opportunity for “ARF” to send Mardagan Commandos and save them….. Then in GOD’s will they succeed, Armenian people in Armenia would praise and Vote to ARF to be the New Armenian Government!

  11. Ashot said:

    The question is why are the Cihadists in Syria? The Armenians and all other christian minorities used to live in peace until the Arab spring. We all need to press Turkey to take it hands off Syria and to stop supporting these Islamist terrorist who do not belong to syrian demography

  12. Moron Radd said:

    I guess this is the wonderful “democracy seeking” rebel group that the west feels will make a great replacement for Bashar Asad. They haven’t even come to power yet and already we are seeing abuses against civilians a la the Gestapo.

    Where is the outcry now? Were it 7 Jews among this group the US would have dispatched SEAL team 6 already to help retrieve them. Church burning, civilian kidnapping, oh yes, what a wonderful new Syrian government these rebels will create….if anything happens to these civilians, their blood will be on the west’s hands.

  13. Ararat said:

    The only way to bring peace into the region and spare thousands of Armenians caught in the middle is to eliminate Turkey’s Erdogan, the wild boar and loud-mouth Islamist disguised in suit and a tie. This two-faced anti-Armenian genocide denier and the manipulator of dumb Arabs along with his EU and NATO masters are behind the chaos in Syria. This Mongol mutt Erdogan arms the rebels in Syria thus creating a huge influx of refugees and then takes credit for humanitarian aid. He is behind most conflicts in the area and the sooner he is gone the sooner peace will return to the region.

  14. GB said:

    Those freed and paid Midnight Express Jihadists, from Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi, and Gatar, and Iraq, so called rebel freedom fighters, repeating same old Turkish tactic against defenseless civilians in Syria!! All I can see, that destabilizing Syria, does not mean that Israeli borders will be secure and peaceful!!

  15. Jack said:

    Where is the ARF / AYF / etc etc demanding TV networks to cover this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT matter. They went crazy when Armenia wasn’t presented “properly” during the Olympics, but when an Armenian church is destroyed and Armenians are kidnapped, no problem.

    Armenians shouldn’t be leaving Syria or their home countries. The world belongs to Armenians where ever they are. There should be an effort to greatly arm Armenians to protect their communities, if not done already.

  16. serge said:

    the whole issue is religious revolution that has been planned 30 years ago, saudis an Qataris are strongly opposed the Syrian Allawi government and supported heavily to arm those armed gangsters, on the other hand turkey used this opportunity to advance his Ottoman era dream to control the entire northern areas of syria, mainly Aleppo, by doing so they destroyed completely the manifacturing factories and outlets even burnt completele the old main covered souks with more tahan 2000 shops and hundreds of khans, the Alrppo industry is completely devastated and to the zero level, and Turkey is benefittng 100% from this sad situation his sales tripled to all middle eastern region and all over the world, they took over the syrian market, carepets, soaps, broidery, silk, food industry, fruits and byproducts, olives and olive oils, all of these is exports are transferred to turkish industry, now turkish producta are flooded in syrrian markets, also Syria had very good production of pharmeaceutical companies who covered Syrian needs for more tahan 2 decades at a very cheap prices, also is in zero level, but at the other hand food supplies are ample . vegetables, dairy products you can find them on every corner, bread aslo available, in quantities, the entire problem is a war between sunni and shia sects, and syria is paying the price, mainly christains, was a big surprise forthem, now that many churcesh being damaged or completely burnt down, many clergys been abducted and killed in cold blood, thet proves that the hatred against christian minorities are in full scale, made in saudi Arabia and Qatar, turkey found the best opportunity to push his agenda, he is guiding , arming and even fighting in Syria, in the mean time Armenians are completely lost, remembering 1915 genocide events. the beautiful mountainious village of kessab 100% Armenian villages, received a threating messages fron nearby turkmen villagers who are armed by Tukey, the message inclided to evacuatkessab or we will continue 1915 events again, what a sad moments for rmenians

  17. Harry Kaladjian said:

    Two issues: (1) Why isn’t the Armenian Government sending troops to defend the Armenians, especially to protect the Armenian villages?; and (2) This should be a lesson to all Armenians: the only true homeland is in Armenia; there will never be a future for diasporan Armenians if they want to retain their identity. One way or another, Armenian communities throughout the world, especially the Middle East will be attacked, repeating a cycle of dispossession….Do not invest your future in these countries. Live there if you have some emotional attachment; but do not expose yourself and your children’s future. Some border villages have an ancient history and perhaps some day, a return of Cilicia will occur, but as long as those Turks want to establish a “buffer zone” you can bet they are targeting those villages and will annihilate the population as soon as they get the chance…Again, where is the Armenian Government and what are the contingency plans?

    • Robert Seibert said:

      Excately! Where are the western church groups,, most suredly not standing up for their (first) Christain brothers is dispicable!!!!

  18. Daron said:

    The question is why hasent the government in Armenia send troops to help.the armenians in syria to leave . Just like in the genocide no armenians from eastern armenia or karabagh came to our aid. While gen.andranik an thousands of western armenians help expel the azeris from karabagh. We can only.rely on the dashnak fighters to protect armenians . Patriots like my self who will drop everything n go fight . Mush,sassoun will be in armenian hands again .

  19. Daron said:

    Syria took us in,in 1915 hundreds of turkic fighterd are pouring into syria attacking christians, but i know our boys in alleppo with the syrian army are conflicted heavy casualties to those rebels n foriegn turk fighters.

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