The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has called on President Obama and Congress to press Turkey to stop facilitating the attacks by extremist foreign fighters on the northwestern Syrian town of Kessab, whose predominantly civilian Armenian population was forced to evacuate to avoid slaughter earlier this weekend.
In a strongly worded letter issued this morning, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian called on President Obama to direct his Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, and his Ambassador to the United Nations to demand that Turkey halt the cross-border attacks on Kessab that have forced the immediate civilian evacuation of the area and led to the looting of properties and the desecration of churches. Separately, the ANCA has been in communication with members of the House Committee on Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee over the weekend to urge that Congress use its influence to immediately end Turkey’s role in the destruction of Kessab.
“The attacks on the predominantly Armenian populated village of Kessab over the weekend represent an attack on all Armenians,” remarked ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. “The Armenian American community stands united in seeking to reverse the events of the last several days, which has seen militant extremists stream into Kessab from Turkey. We are strongly urging our government, led by President Obama and Congressional leaders, to send a firm message to Ankara that the safe haven and safe passage being offered to these militant groups intent on destroying Kessab must end.” Hachikian added.
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 on Kessab civilians, forcing them to flee neighboring Latakia and Bassit.
The ANCA will be working with a vast network of supporters across the United States this week to effectively address the ongoing crisis in Kessab, Syria.