In these difficult times of pandemic, preventive measures, and partial lockdowns we ask for strength, health, and patience to all. We as European Syriac Union co-chairs had hoped that the world would come to reflection, understanding, and cooperation in fighting this virus. Unfortunately, we see hostilities and wars continuing. Enmity endures and we see authoritarian regimes trying to benefit from the situation. This is inexcusable.
In the Middle East, we see that the U.S.-led International Coalition against ISIS has brought back hope for indigenous components like Syriacs and Yazidis who suffered genocide by terrorist ISIS. Slow reconstruction work and insufficient peacebuilding efforts in the ISIS aftermath, however, are threatening the existence in Iraq of these indigenous components. Syriacs and Yazidis are still forced to flee their Mesopotamian homelands.
On the 105 commemoration of Sayfo 1915 genocide against Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian-Aramean people, European Syriac Union, ESU would like to draw your attention to the atrocities and traumas experienced by our people and try to find solution and recognition.
Press Release ESU welcomes the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide-Sayfo by US House of Representatives
On 29 October, the US House of Representatives, with an overwhelming majority, passed Resolution H.Res.296, in which the House recognizes and condemns the Genocide of 1915 on Armenian, Syriac and Pontus-Greek Christians, planned and perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule: “Whereas the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians;”
Since 9th October 2019, the most peaceful region in Syria, controlled by the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria – DAA, has become target of the Turkish
invasion. More than 160’000 people have become IDPs and Dozens have been killed.
Our Syriac people (Assyrians-Chaldean-Aramean) is one of the oldest and indigenous peoples of the Middle East. Since World War I, however we the Syriacs, have been brought to the brink of extinction by genocides in conflicts of interest between different regional and international powers.
Today, on 9/10/2019, Turkey began to implement its long-standing threats to occupy the north and east of Syria, after turning a blind eye by the United States at a time when the United Nations and all the countries of the world seem incapable of preventing this war, which would complicate the situation even further. Syria With the Turkish state relying on the so-called national army, which is a gathering of the remnants of the mercenary and takfiri armed groups that have precedents in committing war crimes against civilians in the Syrian areas they controlled, it is considered a great danger to the general civilian population in northern and eastern Syria, including our Assyrian Chaldean Syriac people.
The European Syriac Union deeply regrets the unilateral decision of US President Donald Trump to allow the Turkish army to invade the Self-Administration of North East Syria (SANES). The peoples of SANES and the SDF – with its ally the USA – defended their territory against ISIS and the authoritarian Assad regime with the blood of thousands of Kurds, Syriacs, and Arabs. Based on their struggle, they created a stable and peaceful territorial co-existence. The US President has decided to wave this away, handing over its ally to Turkey and forfeiting historic democratic progress to the Turkish president. This decision benefits the Assad regime and Russia and removes any incentive to change Syria into a free democracy.
On 19 August, Turkey’s Interior Ministry removed from office the democratically elected metropolitan mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van without just reason. This unilateral, undemocratic decision by the Interior Ministry is again clear evidence of the AKPs lack of respect for election results. The three metropolitan mayors from the Democratic Peoples Party (HDP) were elected by the people to serve all citizens of their respective cities and offer services to all segments of society. Less than 6 months after the elections, the removal by state authorities of the mayors and the detention of hundreds of HDP members is another setback on the path to an inclusive political system in Turkey and a blow to all Turkish citizens craving for freedom, equality and democracy.
Every year on August 7 our Syriac (Chaldean-Aramean-Assyrian) people commemorate the Assyrian martyrs of Simele (Duhok province, Iraq). This day reminds us of yet another bloody massacre on the indigenous Christian population of Mesopotamia. In the preceding weeks up to and including August 7, 1933, Iraqi troops and local allies attacked Assyrian Christians – most of them members of the Church of the East - in Simele and dozens of neighboring villages. They killed more than three thousand men, women and children in those weeks, six hundred of them in Simele on August 7 alone. Thus, less than 2 decades after the Christian Genocide of 1915, Assyrians once again became victims of brutal mass killings.
Following the taking of the city of Mosul by ISIS in August 2014, the Nineveh Plain and the Shingal region sadly underwent the same fate again when, with ISIS in eyesight, Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces unexpectedly retreated. This led to the massive exodus of our Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people from the Nineveh Plain and the Yazidi people from Shingal. Christians fled Mosul by the ten-thousands. The Nineveh Plain Christian towns and villages followed shortly after.