Aleppo Armenian Quarter Devastated by Bombing


ALEPPO (RFE/RL and Armenpress) — Four Armenian civilians have reportedly been killed and dozens of others wounded in Syria’s formerly largest city of Aleppo in continuing clashes between Syrian government troops and opposition forces.

Armed militants on Saturday, June 4 fired a rocket in the Suleymaniye district of Aleppo, Syria. An Armenian resident, Betty Nersesian was killed in the attack, Kantsasar newspaper said in a Facebook post.

The Nor Kyugh Armenian district of Aleppo was targeted on June 2. As a result, 34-year-old Katrin Khachoyan, 62-year-old Karapet Khachoyan and 33-year-old Nora Sargis were injured.

Four Syrian-Armenians were killed as armed militants once again bombarded the Armenian neighborhood of Aleppo, firing at least 40 rockets.

According to local Armenian activists, they died on Thursday, June 2, when an Armenian-populated government-controlled district of the war-ravaged city was shelled by insurgents. Three of the male victims were said to have been burned to death inside a small workshop that caught fire, while the fourth man was killed by a rocket moments later.

Zarmig Boghigian, the editor of the Aleppo-based Armenian magazine Kantsasar, said the shelling lasted for two hours, leaving several dozen other Syrian Armenians wounded.

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“Last past night was really bad. Armed terrorist groups fired around 40 rockets and gas tanks within two hours,” Boghigian said by phone. The gunfire seriously damaged an Armenian church and a school, she said.

Boghigian claimed that the Nor Kyugh district was deliberately targeted by “pro-Turkish” rebels.

Kantsasar reported earlier that an Armenian nursing home in Aleppo was shelled and partly destroyed last week. It said one Syrian Armenian, a woman, was killed and two others wounded as a result.

Aleppo was home to the majority of an estimated 80,000 ethnic Armenians who lived in Syria until the outbreak of the bloody civil war five years ago. Only up to 10,000 of them reportedly remain in the war-ravaged country now. Many are said to be unable to flee the war zone or simply have nowhere to go.

Fighting in and around Aleppo intensified in February as Syrian government troops backed Russian warplanes began making major gains there, sending tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing towards the Turkish border.

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) issued a statement calling on the international community to take immediate measures to save Aleppo from deliberate and complete destruction, reports Sputnik News.

According to the statement, Aleppo is the capital of Islamic culture, because of its historical value, as well as its scientific, cultural and archaeological heritage.

“The world has not seen anything like what Aleppo has been exposed to, in particular, the mass destruction of humans and infrastructure, which is an unprecedented humanitarian, environmental and architectural disaster in modern history,” ISESCO said in the statement published on its website on June 6.

In recent weeks, the situation in Aleppo and its neighborhoods has deteriorated, as various militant groups, including the al-Nusra Front, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries, have been shelling the city in an attempt to counter the Syrian army and the Kurdish militants.

In a statement, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan strongly condemned continuous rocket attacks by armed militants in the Armenian neighborhoods of Aleppo, that claim lives and injure many.

In latest attacks, the Holy Trinity (Zvartnots) church, historic educational and cultural centers were heavily damaged.


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