ANCA Voices Armenian American opposition to U.S. strikes against Syria

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), citing the Armenian American community’s profound concern for the fate of Syria’s Armenian population and the welfare of all of Syria’s citizens, circulated letters today across Capitol Hill calling on Members of the U.S. House and Senate to oppose legislation authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria.

“As our nation’s elected representatives gather this week to consider potential U.S. actions against Syrian targets, we wish to add our voice, as Americans of Armenian heritage, to those of our fellow citizens who oppose American military strikes and are against any escalation of violence.  Such an escalation would very likely create further challenges and lead to serious additional harm to Christian communities, including Syria’s Armenian minority,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian in letters to U.S. legislators.  “We take this stand mindful of the horrific human suffering that armed conflict has already visited across Syria, including the death and destruction being endured, to this day, by Armenians and other Christian communities.  There has already been too much bloodshed, too much brutality, and too much suffering.  An escalation in aggression can neither save lives nor help bring about peace.”

The ANCA message went on to stress that, “We believe that the advancement of our national interests, the enhancement of U.S. standing, the strengthening of the international rule-of-law system, and the promotion of stability and humanitarian and democratic values in this vital region, will not be facilitated by American attacks.  We look to our government to seek a diplomatic settlement, and to reinforce our nation’s call upon all parties to cease any attacks on civilians, to limit armed operations to military targets, and to refrain from violence, intimidation, and discrimination against Christians and other vulnerable minorities.”

As a follow up to longstanding ANCA advocacy for effective, needs-based delivery of humanitarian aid to Armenian and all at-risk populations, Hachikian noted that Armenian Americans “remain troubled that, despite the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, serious gaps remain in terms of U.S.-supplied and funded relief aid actually reaching at-risk Armenian and other minority populations, in Aleppo and throughout Syria.” He added that   Equally troubling has been the very limited U.S. support for landlocked and blockaded Armenia’s efforts to support and resettle thousands fleeing the Syria crisis.  We urge you, in cooperation with your colleagues and our community (which is very actively engaged in relief efforts), to work with the Administration to urgently address these shortcomings.”

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