Save Kessab: An Urgent Appeal to All Armenian Americans & People of Good Conscience


Urge the Obama Administration to Stop Turkey’s Support for the Destruction of Kessab, Syria.
Please join the ANCA in voicing your solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Kessab, Syria.

The ANCA is calling on all Americans of good will to contact the Obama Administration to demand that America immediately call on the Republic of Turkey to halt its role in the ethnic cleansing of Kessab’s peaceful Armenian population.

To send your message to President Obama, simply type in your name, address and email and click “Send Message.” Copies of this letter will also be automatically sent to your Senators and U.S. Representative.

Please do not delay – send your ANCA SmartMail in solidarity with the Armenians of Kessab promptly and be sure to share this ANCA Action Alert with your friends and family.

Located in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, avoided major battles in the Syrian conflict. The local Armenian population had increased in recently years with the city serving as a safe-haven for those fleeing from the war-torn cities of Yacubiye, Rakka and Aleppo. On the morning of March 21st, extremist foreign fighters launched a vicious attack on Kessab civilians, forcing them to flee to neighboring Latakia and Bassit. Subsequent attacks occurred on March 22nd and 23rd and included the mass looting of local residences and the desecration of Armenian Churches in the area.

News sources confirm that the onslaught on Kessab was launched from Turkey by foreign fighters affiliated with an extremist wing of the al-Qaeda terrorist group. Attackers wounded during fighting were returned to Turkey for medical treatment.

Following is the text of the message.

Stop Turkey’s Support for the Attack of Innocent Armenians in Kessab

I am writing to urgently request your leadership in pressing our NATO ally, Turkey, to stop facilitating ongoing attacks by Al-Qaeda affiliated foreign fighters against the civilian population of the predominantly Armenian region of Kessab, Syria.

Over the weekend, the ANCA has received urgent appeals from Americans in cities across the United States gravely concerned about family members and friends in Kessab, a historically Christian Armenian region in Syria, which borders Turkey. The area had been relatively peaceful until March 21st, when Turkey reportedly allowed hundreds of radical foreign fighters to cross its border and attack the civilian population. ABC and CBS news are reporting that the extremists are part of the al-Nusra Front, which is a wing of al-Qaeda, a United States designated terrorist group.

Within days of the onslaught launched from Turkey, nearly the entire population of Christian Armenians has fled to neighboring Latakia and Bassit to avoid slaughter. Civilians, who were not able to flee, have reportedly been taken hostage, while churches and homes are being systematically desecrated and looted. Further, there are reports that injured extremists are returning to Turkey for medical treatment.

Turkey’s facilitation of al-Qaeda affiliated foreign fighters and their attacks on innocent civilians in Syria undermines ongoing U.S. and international efforts to bring peace to a country ravaged by violence for far too long. For Armenians in the region and around the world, Turkey’s actions are a horrifying and bitter reminder of the genocide committed against the Armenian, Pontian and Syriac communities by Ottoman Turkish authorities from 1915-1923.

The United States has the power to stop Turkey’s provocations and assistance to these radical groups and send a clear message that targeted military strikes against innocent civilians is unacceptable under any circumstances and a clear violation of international law.

We urge Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey Francis Ricciardone, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to immediately press Turkey to stop facilitating attacks on civilians in Kessab and investigate Turkey’s reported assistance to foreign fighters associated with U.S.-designated terrorist groups. We, furthermore, ask your assistance in directing need-based humanitarian aid to the victims of the onslaught on Kessab as soon as possible.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious human rights crisis of critical concern to Americans of Armenian descent and their family members in Kessab, Syria. My family and I look forward to hearing about your actions regarding this issue.