Concern mounts as another Armenian dies in Aleppo

Eye on Syria: Concern mounts as another Armenian dies in Aleppo


Concern mounts as another Armenian dies in Aleppo



In the Near East, where clashes between rebels and the state army continue inflicting heavy human casualties, two passenger buses from Aleppo to Beirut suffered from an armed assault, leaving one Armenian dead, 16 more injured. 

Press Service of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports, with reference to the Armenian Embassy in Damascus, that the victim was a mother of two, 40-year-old Tamar Varvaryan-Srunyan (her husband and two children are among the injured passengers). Two of the injured Armenians are in life-threatening condition. 

Zhirair Reissian, press secretary of Aleppo’s Berio Armenian Diocese, told ArmeniaNow that some got checked out after receiving first aid, others are under doctors’ supervision. 

“No changes in the city, the armed clashes continue, with gunshots and explosions and unceasing human casualties,” says Reissian, adding that leaving Aleppo is challenging, too, that is why few people would take the risk. 

The hostilities of the past two years in Syria, with its 80,000-member Armenian community, have taken more than a 100,000 lives, 50 among them Armenian. 

Chief of Staff at the Diaspora Ministry Firdus Zakaryan, also leading the task force group managing Syrian-Armenians’ issues, told ArmeniaNow there are currently around 9,000 Syrian-Armenians in Armenia at the moment. Their inflow has stopped because of the blocked air and land communications. 

Syria remains to be gravely challenged with unrest. There has been news recently that the authorities are using chemical weapon against the opposition. Days ago General Martin Dempsey, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reporting to the US Congress, outlined five options for U.S. military action in the Syrian conflict, according to which the United States can provide “a train, advise and assist mission”, which could raise opposition fighters’ capabilities but carries a risk that extremists could gain access to U.S. weapons; limited stand-off strikes, establishing a no-fly zone or buffer zones. The last, most complex option Dempsey outlined — controlling chemical weapons — would require a no-fly zone, air and missile strikes and thousands of troops on the ground. 

Giro Manoyan, leading the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun’s Armenian Cause office in Yerevan, told ArmeniaNow that only Turkey and Qatar support the external extremist forces in Syria, others are trying to localize the issue one way or another and deter the forces that have come from the outside, however the Syrian people pay the price for all of it, and so are the Armenians living there. 

“Armenia has to keep in touch as much as possible with all the key forces, so that should the need arise it could turn to one of them for the protection of Armenia’s interests – in this case the safety of the Armenian community of Syria, which I believe is more or less being done,” says Manoyan. 

By Gohar Abrahamyan 
ArmeniaNow reporter

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