Damascus (AFP) – Syria’s parliament on Thursday recognized the 1915-1917 killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, as tensions run high with Turkey after deadly clashes in northwest Syria.
“The parliament… condemns and recognizes the genocide committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman state at the start of the twentieth century,” the legislature said in a statement.
The Armenians seek international recognition that the mass killings of their people under the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1917 amounted to genocide. They say 1.5 million died.
Turkey strongly refutes the accusation and says both Armenians and Turks died as a result of World War I, putting the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.
The Turkish foreign ministry slammed the Syrian parliament’s resolution as “hypocrisy” from a country it said is responsible for the “massacre” of its own people and “well known for its use of chemical weapons.”
“The groundless allegations leveled by a tyrant regime which has lost its legitimacy is a clear indicator of a distorted mindset,” the foreign ministry said.