YEREVAN, April 3. / ARKA /. An Armenian expert in Turkish affairs has condemned today Western powers for their failure to respond adequately to massive violation of rights of ethnic Armenian population of Kessab, a small town in northwestern Syria bordering Turkey, saying their passive stance is reminiscent of the 1915 genocide of Armenians committed by the government of the Ottoman Turkey.
Speaking at a news conference, Ruben Melkonyan, deputy dean of Oriental Studies department at Yerevan State University, said it is obvious that the Armenian community of Kessab is set to disappear.
“The fact is that the homes of Armenians were looted, the population was made to flee. These are the crimes that make a genocide," said Mekonyan.
Kessab, which is home to over 2,000 ethnic Armenians is located in Syria’s Latakia province, just miles away from Turkey. On March 21, extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda crossed into Syria from Turkey with the blessing of its authorities and seized the town after clashes with Syrian government troops.
According to Melkonyan , the Armenian community of Kessab will hardly revive.
“Armenia is deeply concerned over the recent events in ancient town of Kessab and 12 villages with prevailing Armenian population. All evidence available and location of the town lead to a conclusion the recent attacks were made by terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda that crossed the border from the territory of Turkey,” Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian says in a letter sent to UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon.
’The extremist groups desecrated Armenian churches of Kessab and caused damage to property of local population having left a dismal picture of egregious human rights violations. Only a couple of aged people remained being unable to leave the town. These tragic events jeopardize implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2118 aimed at settlement of the Syrian crisis,” says the letter. -0-