Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007
For those paying attention we have seen Erdogan acting like a mad man craving war and willing to sign pacts with the devil to wage his war on Syria. The Devil I speak of includes the al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam, and Ansar al-Sham. Erdogan and Turkey assisted these terrorists attack on Kessab, and barred journalists from the area. (details below)
(first a little background info) Kessab is an ancient city with a rich history for the Armenians who have called it home for centuries. Turkey committed war crimes here before when it was the Ottoman Empire and decided to eradicate the Armenians. The Armenian Genocide killed and displaced the native Armenians in 1915. Turkey killed 1.5 million Armenians of a population of 2.5 million Armenians during the Armenian Genocide (which Turkey still denies was a “genocide” and even has jailed people who have written books about it or taught it in schools). The genocide of the Armenians in Kessab region started from Karadouran. The Armenians were deported in two directions: one towards the dessert of Deir ez-Zor and the other towards the south to the desert of Jordan. Almost five thousand Armenians were killed during this deportation process. Some died in Jisr al-Shughur, some in Hamaor Homs while others on the way to Damascus or Jordan. The majority of the refugees were killed in the desert of Deir ez-Zor. After the ceasefire, the Armenians who survived the genocide returned to Kessab in a process that lasted till 1920. But the eastern and northern areas of the region remained unsecured, because they were constantly vulnerable to attacks from neighboring Turkish villages.
On 21 March 2014, Turkey returned to their evil deeds against Armenians. In Early 2014 Turkey assisted the al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam, and Ansar al-Sham, advance directly from Turkish territory. The groups were supported by the Turkish military, and injured rebel fighters were sent to medical centres in Turkey. Some Kessab village guards reported that the Turkish military withdrew from its positions along the border shortly before the fighters crossed from Turkey.
The Turkish MP Mehmet Ali Edipoglu, visiting the area several days after the attack began, said that villagers on the Turkish side of the border told him that “thousands of fighters coming from Turkey crossed the border at at least five different points to launch the attack on Kassab”. The fighters reportedly crossed into Syria from the village of Gozlekciler, close to the border.Journalists were barred from visiting Gozlekciler. Edipoglu was also barred from approaching the border by Turkish soldiers but he wrote of seeing “dozens of Syrian-plated cars nonstop transporting terrorists from the military road between Gozlekciler village and the military base at Kayapinar.” The civilian populations of Kessab and its surrounding villages either fled or were evacuated, with most seeking safety in Latakia. On 23 March, Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian fighter jet over Kessab that had been flying a support mission to assist Syrian army ground forces.
Turkish MP and CHP Party opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu claimed that the Syrian jet was a reconnaissance plane and that its downing was part of a government scheme to provoke war with Syria to divert attention from corruption scandals enveloping Turkey’s president Erdogan and his party. Journalist Amberin Zaman wrote that leaked tapes in which Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, is heard discussing ways to spark a war with Syria might vindicate Kilicdaroglu’s claims.
On 2 April, during a hearing before the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and in response to a question by Congressman Schiff, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, said that Kessab “is an issue of huge concern”. Congressman Schiff noted that many of the residents were descendants of victims of the Armenian Genocide and that “there is a particular poignancy to their being targeted in this manner.”[ On 3 April Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan said that 38 of Kessab’s Armenian inhabitants had been captured when the town fell to the rebels, 24 of them were later released, 3 had been forcefully taken into Turkey and were now in the village of Vaqif, and that 670 Armenian families had been displaced after the attack on Kessab, with about 400 of the families now in Latakia. The minister also said that in Kessab Armenian churches had been defaced, crosses on the churches had been removed, and property looted. April 3rd Ruben Melkonyan, deputy dean of the Oriental Studies department at Yerevan State University, said that the Armenian community of Kessab was unlikely to recover and that what had happened were “crimes that make a genocide”.
On 15 June 2014, the Syrian Army entered Kessab and retook control over the surrounding villages and the border with Turkey. News agencies and local residents of Kessab reported that the town’s Armenian Catholic and Evangelical churches had been ruined and burnt by the Islamist groups, along with the Misakyan Cultural Centre. Around 250 families from Kessab who had taken refuge in Latakia returned to their homes a day after the Syrian Army recaptured the town. On July 25th the St. Astvatsatsin Church in Garaturan was reconsecrated, with the first liturgy since the ending of the Islamist occupation taking place on the 27th July, the day of Vardavar, and attended by a large number of people