Sun

29

Jun

2014

A call to action on the brutal religious and ethnic cleansing in the Middle East

A thought provoking reflection from the Assyrian - Swedish journalist Nuri Kino

“It’s June 26, almost midnight and I have just spoken to the family of one of the six Christian girls (Armenian and Assyrian) who were kidnapped in Aleppo. After several attempts I managed to get in touch with one of the girls’ mother. Her daughter had disappeared 24 hours earlier, and when we spoke she had only been able to reach her daughter’s mobile phone, and a male voice at the other end.” Continue reading here


3 Comments

Sun

29

Jun

2014

Patriarch urges displaced to return home.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch waves to those who have come to greet him on his visit.
H.B. Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch waves to those who have come to greet him on his visit.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch arrived in the city of Erbil and paid an inspection visit to Ankawa to a number of centers accommodating the displaced residents of Bakhdida/Qaraqush during the visit His Beatitude urged the displaced to return to their town despite all the challenges. He stressed the need for the people to remain on their land. His Beatitude expressed his admiration for the tremendous efforts made by the Bishop of Ankawa and all the institutions, organizations and parties that had helped the displaced. Ishtar TV reports in Arabic here

Families return to the town Bakhdida

Since noon Saturday 28 June 2014 dozens displaced of families from the city of bakhdida who had gone to the city of Ankawa have begun to return to their town after after the security situation in their area has stabilised. The town has returned to a relative calm after days of security tension and skirmishes on the borders of the city. More the 2,000 families had fled to seek refuge elsewhere during the arracks by trrorists.  Ishtar TV reports in Arabic here.

Two Nuns two Girls and one male missing from orphanage in Mosul

 

Report in Arabic from the news outlet Ankawa.com here.

Iraqi girl sets herself ablaze after being raped by ISIL militants

Report from the Alalam news outlet Teheran

 

A 21-year-old girl in Iraq’s Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, has committed self-immolation after being raped by the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group. Full article here

 


Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region.

The Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for the Syriac Orthodox Church of Ignatius Ephrem II has said that Christians and Muslims in the region are subjected to a war of extermination by terrorist. He denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, "massacres become a reality we live in every age," he said. Full article in Arabic here


12 Comments

Sat

28

Jun

2014

Even if we die, we’ll die in our land

Vice News Reports - Christian City Under Siege: The Battle for Iraq .

Vice news reports: Earlier this week, ISIS began an assault on the historically Assyrian Christian city of Qaraqosh in the northern Nineveh province, just east of Mosul. Kurdish peshmerga forces moved into the city to fortify it against a barrage of mortar shells. The city, though not officially located in the Kurdistan Regional Government, has become one of the disputed areas, as the Iraqi government has abandoned it and ISIS is vying for control.

Dozens of mortar rounds landed on the outskirts of the city Wednesday night, causing tens of thousands of residents to flee towards Erbil. Assyrian Christians from Mosul had previously fled the ISIS takeover and were seeking sanctuary in Qaraqosh and in the nearby Christian city of Bartella.

Iraq's Assyrian Christians are some of the earliest converts to Christianity and are indigenous to the Nineveh plains. Of recent, they have suffered massacres

Kenneth Roth the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, New York attempts to down play and excuse ISIS terror. Twitter 12:47 AM - 12 Jun 2014

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Nobel Peace Laureates to Human Rights Watch: Close Your Revolving Door to U.S. Government

On May 12, 2014 a letter of complaint was sent to Human Rights Watch's Kenneth Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars. Read the letter here.


and persecution owing to the instability sowed by the American invasion in 2003. Qaraqosh has always seen as a safe haven, especially for those periodically fleeing violence in Mosul, such as in 2008.

While the attack continued, VICE News was caught in a miles long traffic jam as many residents fled in fear with nothing but the 

Iraq Crisis: ISIS Terrorists were Trained by US in 2012 for Syria Conflict

International Business Times reports

As the American government is contemplating on whether or not to launch an airstrike on ISIS that is threatening to destroy Iraq, reports have now surfaced that way back in 2012, the US Army had trained members of the same terrorist group in Jordan. Full article here.


clothes on their back. Peshmerga forces, fearing car bombs and hidden insurgents, meticulously combed through the traffic, and set up tense checkpoints, causing further chaos. We also travelled to the abandoned city of Qaraqosh to speak with residents who have remained there despite the attacks. They tell us why they've decided to stay and protect their city. Origina article with video here

ISIS Terror from Syria to Iraq, America is never far out of the picture.

Above left: Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, in northern Syria in May 2013 last with rebel “Free” Syrian Army Colonel Abdul-Jabbar who at that time was head of the, western backed and funded, Aleppo Military Council (video here). Above right: “Free” Syrian Army Colonel Abdul-Jabbar with ISIS Emir Abu Jandal after their forces jointly capture Menagh Military Airbase in Aleppo province, August 2013 (video here and here).

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."


Meanwhile in Syria more crucifixions

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (#ISIS) executes and crucifies eight people in a square in Deir Haffer, Aleppo Suburbs for "fighting the Islamic state".
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (#ISIS) executes and crucifies eight people in a square in Deir Haffer, Aleppo Suburbs for "fighting the Islamic state".

75 Comments

Fri

27

Jun

2014

Syria's Grand Mufti: Erdogan & Davutoglu behind Abduction of Two Aleppo Archbishops

Chief Sunni Cleric in Syria: Turkish Prime Minister and Foregin Minister culpable in kidnapping of Aleppo Archbishops

The Grand Sunni Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, discusses on camera the circumstances that led to the infamous abduction of the two Archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim for the Syriac Orthodox and Boulos Yazigi for the Greek Orthodox. He accuses the current Turkish government of sending a Chechen group that was trained in Turkey to abduct the two Archbishops, after dissatisfaction with the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim several years prior.


7 Comments

Fri

27

Jun

2014

Iraq Christians in Danger in Mosul

Article from the Russian Orthodox news outlet Pravmir. Original here

"flee the country and settle in Russia, China and the Orient, rather than the West"

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Yousseff Younan

Patriarch Ignatius Yousseff Younan asked Iraqi Christians to flee the country and settle in Russia, China and the Orient, rather than the West, which he believes has betrayed their cause.

 

Iraq Christians who might want to return to a semblance of normal life in Mosul still face danger from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. With the burning of one of the Catholic churches in the heart of the city, and with militants attacking Islamic cultural heritage sites in western parts of Mosul that are counter to their extremist ideologies, the danger to the Christian minority population in the region has been growing greater since the occupation.

 

Iraqi Christians living in Ninawa province are the largest population of religious minorities in Iraq. Prior to the American-led invasion of 2003, it was estimated that 1.3 million Iraqis followed the Christian faith. Most are Chaldean and Syriac Catholics, Syriac Orthodox and members of the Armenian Catholic church. After sectarian violence escalated in the country following the American withdrawal, most Iraqi Christians fled, principally to Germany and England.

ISIS terrorist group conduct a mass executions in Tikrit, Iraq after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014
ISIS terrorist group conduct a mass executions in Tikrit, Iraq after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014

Two Iraqi Christian leaders were killed in 2007 and 2008. In 2010, Christians were targeted in attacks in Baghdad and Mosul that killed 60 people. In December of 2013, a car bomb exploded outside a Christian church in Baghdad on Christmas, killing 14 people. The population of Christians in Iraq has been dwindling steadily as a result of these attacks. It is estimated that 300,000 Iraqi Christians still remain in Ninawa province and elsewhere in Iraq.

Christian man commits suicide after being forced to watch his wife and daughter raped.

Assyrian International News Agency reports here


When ISIS entered the city of Mosul, most Christians fled the danger into other parts of Ninawa province and Iraqi Kurdistan. It is thought that few, if any, remain in the city. At least 160 Christian families were registered by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and some 20 families are known to have sought refuge in the Monastery of St. Matthew in Bartella just outside the city. It is unclear when they will choose to return to their homes, if at all given the long history of violence against them by Islamic extremists.

International Organization of Migration, IOM, waiting for fleeing Assyrians outside the church of St John the Baptist in Ankawa. Photo from twitter account of Assyrian-Sweedish journalist Nuri Kino (@KinoNuri).
International Organization of Migration, IOM, waiting for fleeing Assyrians outside the church of St John the Baptist in Ankawa. Photo from twitter account of Assyrian-Sweedish journalist Nuri Kino (@KinoNuri).

On Thursday it was reported that ISIS has set fire to the 19th century Dominican church on Nineveh street in the middle of Mosul, not far from the Al-Noree Grand Mosque. The church is home to a small group of nuns, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Sienna. On Thursday, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States issued a press release in support of their Iraqi sisters, calling on the international community to pray for their safety.

 

Recently, the patriarch Ignatius Yousseff Younan, leader of the Syriac Catholic Church, one of the largest of the Christian denominations in Iraq, spoke out from Lebanon about the fate of Syriac Christians in the beleaguered country. He was embittered about the lack of Western protection for minority Christians in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq, and for Western policies that he believes are bringing more violence to the region. He asked Iraqi Christians to flee the country and settle in Russia, China and the Orient, rather than the West, which he believes has betrayed their cause.

 

Despite the continuing sectarian violence in Iraq, it is expected that many Iraq Christians will return to Mosul and Ninawa province after the danger from the latest round of battles is over. For them, the threat from ISIS and other Islamic extremists will continue in Mosul for as long as they have a presence there.

Assyrians fleeing the district Bakhdida/Qaraqosh near Mosul now being housed in St John the Baptist Assyrian church of the East in Ankawa. From Twitter account @KinoNuri
Assyrians fleeing the district Bakhdida/Qaraqosh near Mosul now being housed in St John the Baptist Assyrian church of the East in Ankawa. From Twitter account @KinoNuri

H.B. Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch

"We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

Iraq Crisis: ISIS Terrorists were Trained by US in 2012 for Syria Conflict

International Business Times reports

As the American government is contemplating on whether or not to launch an airstrike on ISIS that is threatening to destroy Iraq, reports have now surfaced that way back in 2012, the US Army had trained members of the same terrorist group in Jordan. Full article here.

Sistani calls on Iraqi civilians to fight ISIS

The late Cardinal Delli (centre) heading a Chaldean Catholic Church delegation visiting Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in what he described as "a visit of a brother to his brothers in Najaf". July 2011.
The late Cardinal Delli (centre) heading a Chaldean Catholic Church delegation visiting Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in what he described as "a visit of a brother to his brothers in Najaf". July 2011.

Al Akhbar a Lebanese Newspaper reports: Top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called Friday for Iraqis to take up arms against "terrorists" who have overrun swathes of the country in a major offensive.

 

"Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose," his representative announced on his behalf during Friday prayers in the city of Karbala. Full article here


Sunni Clerics of Basra, Iraq, Stand with Iraqi Army against ISIL

A group of Sunni Muslim scholars from the southern Iraqi city of al-Basra have gathered to strongly condemn the recent advance of the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in parts of Iraq. They called upon the Iraqi Army to strike the hands of terror and criminals represented by ISIL. They even volunteered to join the Iraqi Army, if need be.


13 Comments

Thu

26

Jun

2014

Last stronghold of Iraqi Christians may fall

Happing Now: In Nineveh Plain: Ominous News for Christians

The Assyrian broadcaster Ishtar TV  reports.

As we expected, ISIS is moving to and shelling the Mosul nearby district of Qaraqosh (Al-Hamdanya ) in the heart of Nineveh Plain. Today, more than 70.000 Christians live in this district. Reports are indicating that hundreds of families are escaping to Kurdistan for shelter and the Kurdistan Military forces ( Peshmerga) are reinforced to fight back the ISIS aggression..

Christians join Kurdish Peshmerga Militia to defend Nineveh

Christians in the district of Ankawa, Nineveh answer a call from the Kurdish Communist Party to pick up arms and joint the Kurdish Peshmerga to defend Nineveh.


Iraq: ISIS Terrorists Target Native Assyrian Christians in Nineveh

Article from Global Research and the and the Assyrian American Association

On June 9th, ISIS, one of the most extreme Jihadist terrorist group seized control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq and home to the biblical Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. This militant group has reportedly slaughtered over 1700 people during this attack in the past 3 days alone.

 

Just a few kilometers away from Mosul lies the Nineveh Plain, the last major enclave of native Assyrian Christians with little to no protection against the now very well armed and most financially capable terrorist group in the world.

 

Once again, the indigenous Assyrian Christians find themselves scrambling to find safety in neighboring regions and countries. Scrambling from a group that commonly uses its death squads to perform beheading, crucifixions, and atrocities against Christians or anyone who does not subscribe to their vision of a caliphate of a pure Islamic State. Since the US intervention in Iraq in 2003, the Assyrians have already suffered unprecedented ethnic and religious persecution unseen since the creation of Iraq resulting in an exodus of more than two thirds of their population to the West.

 

The Assyrian American Association of San Jose is deeply concerned about what the future holds for the vulnerable Assyrians of Nineveh. Without swift action by the Iraqi forces with the support of the US, this can potentially spell the end of Assyrian Christian Existence on their native land. We call upon all to join us in sharing this concern with your government officials to act swiftly before it is too late. We also ask all those that reside in the greater Bay area to join us for a public nationally coordinated demonstration on June 20th, at 12 noon in front of city hall.

 

The purpose of the demonstration is to denounce this terrorist group and call for action to eliminate it and to support the vulnerable indigenous Assyrian Christians.

 

Several governmental and non-governmental representatives are expected to join, including the director of a major Iraqi human rights organization and former minister, Mrs. Pascale Warda. More details will follow. For more information, contact info@aaasj.org

Iraq Crisis: ISIS Terrorists were Trained by US in 2012 for Syria Conflict

International Business Times reports

As the American government is contemplating on whether or not to launch an airstrike on ISIS that is threatening to destroy Iraq, reports have now surfaced that way back in 2012, the US Army had trained members of the same terrorist group in Jordan. Full article here.

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

Iraq: Bishops discuss rescue plan as Christians near extinction

Extract: Catholic bishops from Iraq are meeting this week to come up with a ‘rescue plan’ amid growing fears that the ISIS Islamist attacks have put Christianity at increased risk of being extinguished from the country...... So far this year, Iraq’s Christian community has shrunk again, a trend likely to continue especially after the ISIS attack on Mosul two weeks ago. The militants’ capture of Mosul prompted the last remaining Christians to flee a city which until 2003 was home to 35,000 Christians. Read full article here.

Plea to Terrorists “Please Stop your Evil and Bloodshed and Division in the East"

Hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Lebanon make a prayer pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Harissa, Beirut 27/05/2014. original here

 


Social media updates from Assyrian-Swedish Journalist Nuri Kino



36 Comments

Mon

23

Jun

2014

The Crisis in Iraq - The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul

Archbishop Nona: statue of the Virgin Mary destroyed by Islamists, but the suffering of Christians must not become a pretext for propaganda

Article text from the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service, Fides

 Before and after pictures of  the Statue on the clock tower at the Chaldean Catholic monastery church of Mary Immaculate in the city of Mosul courtesy of www.ankawa.com
Before and after pictures of the Statue on the clock tower at the Chaldean Catholic monastery church of Mary Immaculate in the city of Mosul courtesy of www.ankawa.com

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, His Excellency Amel Shamon Nona, confirmed to Fides Agency the destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary by the Sunni insurgents who have taken control of the city, but adds that for the moment there is no evidence to rumors of an "Islamic tax" that was imposed on Christians in Mosul by the Islamists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. "A statue of the Virgin Mary" refers to Fides Archbishop Nona "was destroyed by Islamist militants who had pulled it down from a tower of the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Conception.

The statue on the clock tower of the Marian shrine was a signature landmark of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Mosul
The statue on the clock tower of the Marian shrine was a signature landmark of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Mosul

The shrine is a place of worship attended by the faithful", adds Mgr. Nona "and during the removal and destruction of the statue of Mary, the interior of the church was not infringed. The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul does not confirm rumors about an alleged "personal tax" imposed on Christians in Mosul by Islamist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Different sources insist that the Christians who have remained in the city are very few, mostly elderly. "So far", says Mgr. Nona, who has also moved to the village of Tilkif, "only certain public Christian employees have been told not to return to their place of work, making explicit reference to their status as members of a minority. Of course, the situation is getting worse, and we are all worried.

 

But I also see that the condition of Christians sometimes becomes the object of propaganda. It is a dangerous exploitation even for Christians themselves".

 

On Sunday June 22 in a television interview, the Iraqi Minister for Human Rights Mohammed Shia al Sudani accused Sunni militiamen of ISIL of having committed atrocities among the people of Nineveh Plain, burning churches, imposing taxes on Christian communities and raping Christian women, five of whom, according to the minister, have committed suicide after being subjected to violence. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 23/06/2014) Original article here.

Iraqi women commit suicide after being raped by ISIL [ISIS]

Alalam News agency Tehran report on Friday, June 13, 2014

 

The number of people killed after extremist militants overran Mosul earlier this week may run into the hundreds, U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said Friday, highlighting disturbing reports including the suicide of four women after being raped by ISLI militants. Read full article here

Iraq Crisis: ISIS Militants Demand Women for Marriage, Sex in Captured Town

From the media outlet International Business Insider. June 23, 2014

 

"ISIS fighters now have the religious right to rape woman as a Saudi-based cleric has issued a fatwa - a religious order that allows the militants to rape women in captive towns." Read full article here


Call for Prayer and Fasting Sunday 29 June

The Council of Christian Church Leaders statement. Click to enlarge
The Council of Christian Church Leaders statement. Click to enlarge

The Council of Christian Church Leaders in Iraq issued a statement in which they adopted the appeal of His

Service of prayer for peace in Iraq held recently in the city of Erbil, Kurdish Iraq. Click to enlarge.
Service of prayer for peace in Iraq held recently in the city of Erbil, Kurdish Iraq. Click to enlarge.

Beatitude Mar Louis I Sako for prayer and fasting. The statement called all Christians to pray in all churches Sunday, June 29, 2014 for the unity, integrity and security of Iraq and the perseveration of the lives and blood of Iraq’s righteous people.


14 Comments

Sat

21

Jun

2014

Christians Cry Loud to Stop Terrorism in Syria

Article from the Russian Orthodox media outlet Pravmir

“The USA allies with terrorism through sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorist groups in Syria,”

H. E. Cardinal Beshara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and H.E. Metropolitan Archbishop Don Antonio Chedraoui, Antiochian Orthodox Primate of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. April 2012
H. E. Cardinal Beshara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and H.E. Metropolitan Archbishop Don Antonio Chedraoui, Antiochian Orthodox Primate of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. April 2012

TEHRAN (FNA)- Metropolitan of Mexico, Venezuela and Central America and the Caribbean Islands for the Roman Orthodox Church Antonius Shidrawi said Christians' cries around the world were continuous tirelessly, appealing for repelling Takfiri extremism and stopping support for the western-backed terrorist groups who were committing systematic crimes in Syria.

 

“The USA allies with terrorism through sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorist groups in Syria,” Antonius Shidrawi said in a SANA’s report. Metropolitan Shidrawi called upon Washington in a statement directed to the US Ambassador in Lebanon David Hill “you are supporting those who do not know what freedom is…The Christians are being slaughtered and displaced from their homeland in Syria, while you are sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorists under the name of opposition.”

 

Metropolitan Shidrawi addressed the US Ambassador, saying, “It has been more than a year since two archbishops were kidnapped in Syria, and we have not heard a single word criticizing this act by your state whatsoever neither have we heard that it would pressure its ally, Turkey, to release them, but rather we hear that it will continue to send weapons to the armed opposition.”

In the same context, Eastern and Western Greek, Armenian, Coptic, Maronite and Catholic churches in Austria urged for stopping supporting terrorists in Syria and the Middle East, protecting minorities and monitoring extremists, Salafist movements and sleeper cells in Europe.

 

This came during prayers held by the churches Saturday for releasing the kidnapped archbishops Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo, and Paul Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of

Muslim clerics speak against Takfiri Ideology  03/07/2013


Aleppo, who were abducted by the armed terrorist groups last year. The churches warned of the danger of the terrorists on the Austrian and European societies and the civil peace in Europe and the whole world. Original article here.

The Hypocrisy of the Kessab Case

“On Kessab it is an issue of huge concern and the broader fate of minorities and all the Syrian people is of pressing concern.”

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. 


On March 21st 2014, extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda were facilitated by NATO member state Turkey in crossing the border into Syria where they attacked and overran the Syrian town of Kesab.

An elderly refugee from Kessab who found refuge at the Armenian church in Lettakia
An elderly refugee from Kessab who found refuge at the Armenian church in Lettakia

The Christian town was comprised of Syrian citizens of Armenian ethnicity. In the mayhem that followed the terror attack thousands fled and sought refuge in the Syrian government controlled city of Lattakia. The homes of the residents were subject to attacks and looting and the towns churches desecrated and robbed. The president of Armenia, Serge Sarkissian, ordered his countries representatives at the U.N. to raise the issue, and he also thanked the Syrian authorities for the steps being taken to protect the Armenians in Kessab. There was widespread disgust and outrage internationally among the Armenian Diaspora that just weeks before the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide that they once again witnessed direct Turkish involvement in the persecution and destruction of an Armenian community.

Suzy from Kessab who also found refuge at the Armenian church in Lettakia recounts the events of the Turkish facilitated terror attack. To see a video of Suzy’s testimony click on the image.
Suzy from Kessab who also found refuge at the Armenian church in Lettakia recounts the events of the Turkish facilitated terror attack. To see a video of Suzy’s testimony click on the image.

On April 2nd 2014 Republican Congressman Adam Schiff, a leading voice with regard to U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, questioned U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, during a State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on the crisis in Syria. The congressman specifically asked her to outline concrete steps that the United States and the United Nations were taking to address the March 21st attack and capture of the Syrian town of Kessab. In her response Ms. Power ignored the fact that U.S. NATO partner Turkey had facilitated the terror attack on the town saying “I would note that unfortunately the extremist group that that have taken, that appears to have taken, hold of that town is not one that the US or the UN have huge amount of leverage over” and pointed the finger at the most notorious of terror groups declaring that it seemed that “ISIL” (ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Sham) were to blame.

Ahmad al-Jarba head of the NATO - GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) created SNC (Syrian National Coalition), makes a celebratory visit to Kessab on 01/04/2014  after it was seized by terrorists.
Ahmad al-Jarba head of the NATO - GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) created SNC (Syrian National Coalition), makes a celebratory visit to Kessab on 01/04/2014 after it was seized by terrorists.

In what can only be deemed the most outlandish hypocrisy and fake concern of the U.S. administration it transpired that on the day before Ms. Power appeared on front of the Congress subcommittee Ahmad al-Jarba, the president of the NATO and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) created SNC (Syrian National Coalition), had made a celebratory visit to the environs of Kessab to congratulate the “extremist group” who had seized the town. Ahmad al-Jarba’s open support for the terrorists in Kessab did not in any way hinder his relationship with the U.S. administration. He traveled to  America within a few weeks of his Kessab visit and delivered a keynote address at the USIP (United States Institute of Peace) where, without any sense of irony to the supposed mission of that institutes, he called on America to supply the rebels with weapons thereafter he was received at the White House by U.S. President Barak Obama!

U.S. President Barak Obama meeting with Ahmad al-Jarba in the White House on 13/05/2014.
U.S. President Barak Obama meeting with Ahmad al-Jarba in the White House on 13/05/2014.

Terrorists use elderly Kessab Christian woman, who could not flee, for propaganda purposes (Video 1). Later she is able to tell the true story (video 2). No English translation available.


Message from His Holiness Aram I to Dr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro

The following is an extract of a message sent on June 12th from His Holiness Aram I the Lebanese based leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church for the Holy See of Cilicia to Dr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Chairman of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria. Read the full text here.

"With great grief I have been observing the victimization of my community. The late events in Kessab, facilitated by Turkey, demonstrate the free hand with which third-party countries are

exploiting the situation. As we prepare to commemorate in 2015 the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey, modern Turkey has forced another tragedy upon our people."

His Holiness Aram I supervised the renovation of the Armenian Martyrs Chapel in Antelias, Lebanon and is seen here placing the first of many human remains of genocide victims in a specially prepared case. 14/05/2014
His Holiness Aram I supervised the renovation of the Armenian Martyrs Chapel in Antelias, Lebanon and is seen here placing the first of many human remains of genocide victims in a specially prepared case. 14/05/2014

Update: Kessab has been Liberated 16/06/2014

Bowed but unbroken local women standing in the ruins of one of Kessab’s many burned out buildings after the town was liberated by government forces.
Bowed but unbroken local women standing in the ruins of one of Kessab’s many burned out buildings after the town was liberated by government forces.

A report with photos from the Armenpress

Video by ANNA News of Kessab Churches after the town was liberated from terrorists.

Report in Russian from the Abkhazian Network News Agency.

The video link above by ANNA (Abkhazian Network News Agency) now defunct will remain as testament to the manner in which Youtube suspends accounts that seek to show the crimes of armed rebels in Syria. Below a fresh link to the same video.  


11 Comments

Sun

08

Jun

2014

Invocation for Peace

Pope holds Israeli-Palestinian peace prayer summit in Vatican

Above left to right; The Custos of the Holy Land, the President of Israel, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Pope Francis and the President of Palestine all on a bus travelling to the location for the “Invocation for Peace” event hosted by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Sunday 8th of June 2014.   

 

VATICAN CITY (AFP) -- Pope Francis on Sunday hosts an unprecedented joint peace prayer in the Vatican with Israeli President Shimon Peres and president Mahmoud Abbas in a symbolic gesture aimed at fostering dialogue.

Abbas said he hoped the event in the Vatican Gardens, which will include Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayers and the planting of an olive tree by all three leaders, would "help Israel decide."

"The pope's invitation was courageous," Abbas said in an interview with the La Repubblica daily.

"With this prayer we are sending a message to all believers of the three major religions and the others: the dream of peace must not die," he said.

Peres, who is 90 years old and will be stepping down as president next month, was quoted by his office as saying on Sunday: "The spiritual call (for peace) is very important and affects reality.

"I hope the event will contribute to promoting peace between the two sides and throughout the world," he said, adding that the conflict is "both political and religious" and "religious leaders resonate." Read full article from the Palestinian news outlet, Maan News, here

A Global Request for Prayer

Requests were sent out across the Catholic world asking all to join in prayer on the occasion. Above the request made to the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Caribbean Antilles.
Requests were sent out across the Catholic world asking all to join in prayer on the occasion. Above the request made to the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Caribbean Antilles.

The Address of H.H. Pope Francis

Pope Francis Pope Francis delivered remarks to the Presidents of Palestine and Israel, Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and delegations representing Jews, ChristiansMuslims, all of whom were gathered in the Vatican Sunday evening to pray for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. Read the Pope's address here

Video of the Invocation for Peace



4 Comments

As-Salaam-Alaikum

Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”