Kessab Families Return to Assess Damage, Plan Return

A decorative window grate from a church lies damaged on the ground

KESSAB, Syria—About a dozen Armenian families returned to Kessab Monday to assess the damage to residential areas and plan their return to this mostly-Armenian populated town, which was besieged by attacks in late March by Al Qaeda-linked militants who entered from Turkey forcing the evacuation of the population.

The priest of the Armenian Catholic Church in Kessab, Rev. Nareg Luisian told Armenpress that Armenian families were returning to assess the damage to their houses, as the town continues to face serious infrastructural issues such as lack of water, electricity, telephone communications and other essentials to resume daily life.

The Armenian community has appealed to the Syrian authorities urging them to restore those services and ensure safe passage of Armenians, who have sought refuge in nearby Latakia, Lebanon and other areas in the vicinity.

A damaged residential building in Kessab

Luisian pointed out that the kitchens in homes have seen the most damage as they were indiscriminately used by the insurgents who had invaded people’s homes.

Luisian added that all community centers, schools, churches have either been burned or have sustained significant damages as a result of the militant attacks on the town. Luisian also detailed the damage to the St. Michael Armenian Catholic Church, highlighting that the church altar has been destroyed and its cross stolen.

“Kessab will flourish again,” said Luisian adding that the Armenians of Kessab will, once again, bring life to this ancestral city and last vestige of Western Armenia.

Sources in and around Kessab indicated on Sunday that the rebel and al Qaeda-affiliated militants, who seized the town in March through the Turkish border, had withdrawn from Kessab.

A community center is left burnt and hollowed out

The Aleppo-based Gandzasar newspaper is reporting that Syrian army forces have advance onto the city square and now control more than two-thirds of the strategic town.

Troops loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime sent tanks to nearby villages, signaling an imminent army advance on the border town.

Activists confirmed the account, adding that the rebel fighters withdrew to rebel strongholds in the Jabal al-Akrad area.


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  1. Hratch said:

    Kessab will only be considered ‘liberated’ when it is under full Armenian control along with the Sanjak of Alexandretta. Otherwise, we’re still under occupation from foreign forces.

    • Bedros said:

      Yu seem the only ” Armenian ” unhappy to’ hear that Kessab was liberated where Are you from? Ankara?

  2. zarkim said:

    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    That cross lying on the ground is worth a thousand terrorists that Turkey allowed to come to Kassab. These cowards are afraid of a cross.
    That burned out unit on the top is cleaner than their filthy history.
    That burned out church is holier than their whole society.
    Thanks to the US Administration (And allies) this church is damaged. Are you happy now? Ok.
    Let us mend the damage and fix this problem.
    God Bless America.

  3. Hagop D said:

    “Troops loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime sent tanks to nearby villages”

    Asbarez, where is this clueless, silly, neocon statement coming from? If I wanted to read FOX and CNN content I would go there to read up on Syria. I expect better quality here. This has been pointed out to you guys and still you continue to use this kind of language.

    What, there are Syrian troops “not loyal to Bashar Assad” roaming about as well? Sure there are, better known as “Al Qaeda”. Syria is a sovereign nation and has one army, so those are Syrian Troops, period regardless if they are loyal to Assad or not.

  4. Bedros Zerdelian said:

    Congratulations. I am sending BIG HUG for the Syrian Army.
    God bless the hospitality of the Syrian noble people.
    With love,
    Bedros Zerdelian