US Congressman Jim Costa has condemned the destruction of the Saint Martyrs Armenian Church in Deir ez-Zor.
“I strongly condemn the reported desecration of an Armenian Genocide memorial in Syria by the Islamic State,” Rep. Costa said in a twitter post.
Fighters from the Islamic State desecrated an Armenian Genocide memorial complex in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, near the site where vast numbers of Armenian refugees were forced to march to their deaths in the early 20th century.
The Der Zor Memorial Church contains the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide and is often compared to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian condemned the destruction of the church and called on the international community to combat the Islamic State.
The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church served as a pilgrimage site for Armenians in Syria, and every year, on April 24, special commemoration ceremonies attended by thousands of people would be held at the site.
The complex housed, in addition to the church, a museum, monument and archive.