2 April 2014 — New Eastern Outlook
While the whole world was busy with the Ukrainian issue, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, instigated by Washington, decided to take advantage of the situation and expand their intervention in Syria, where government forces were successfully winning back positions from the rebels. The greatest wickedness was the massacre of the Armenian population in the town of Kasab near the border with Turkey, where units of the radical extremist Islamist group Dzhabgat en-Nusra, financially and politically supported by Riyadh, invaded on March 27, with participation of Turkish officers.
It is characteristic that Turkish air defenses shot down a Syrian fighter in the airspace of the SAR in the area of Kasab, claiming that it allegedly flew into Turkish airspace. Militants of the pro-Saudi group entered the town from Turkish territory, where they had been previously trained by officers of the Turkish Army. About 2,000 Armenian Christians lived in this town, and another several hundred Armenians in the five villages around it. These created self-defense units and opposed Dzhabgat en-Nusra for a long time. However, the Turks used artillery, and military aircraft, to support the Islamists, who managed to break into these settlements and arranged a real massacre there. Over 40 men were killed, and the property of the Armenian population was looted and taken to Turkey, while the women suffered from violence and abuse. Almost the entire population of this locality escaped to Latakia.
Everything was in the tradition of the Turkish genocide of Armenians and Christians in 1915-1923 during the Ottoman rule, when about 5 million Christians, including 1.5 million Armenians, were killed. Yet, this is not surprising, taking into account the fact that there were many Turkish officers among the militants. The body of evidence of Turkish participation in this “operation” was collected by Alevi and Arabs, living in Turkey in the Hatay area adjacent to the border with the SAR, who moved to Turkey with Sanjak of Alexandretta in 1939 by the decision of France, which had a mandate to govern Syria and Lebanon at that time. However, at the request of the Pope, Kasab remained a part of Syria. In addition, a voice recording of the meeting of the Turkish government, headed by Erdogan, held before this, was posted on YouTube, where the question of preparations for a provocation was discussed, in order to fabricate a pretext to invade the northern regions of the SAR, up to Aleppo, to rescue the rebels from defeat.
A UN Security Council meeting was held at the request of Damascus. Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said that the government of Recep Erdogan in Turkey has been directly supporting terrorist groups in Syria, interfering in the internal affairs of the country and escalating tensions there. He noted that the leaked recording of a conversation between senior Turkish officials, aimed to justify an aggression in Syria, was a great international scandal. The UN should condemn these facts, which violate resolutions of the organization, as well as acknowledge the reality of the events happening there. Bashar al-Jaafari urged the Security Council to point out to the Turkish government, which was responsible for the escalation of terrorism in Syria, that it was openly violating the sovereignty of a UN member state, by allowing terrorists to attack Syria from Turkish territory. The diplomat said that attempts of some parties to doubt the authenticity of the recording were simply ridiculous. “The Turkish government has been carrying out aggression against Syria since the beginning of the crisis. The Turkish Ambassador to the UN, who believes that the allegations presented by us are not worthy of an answer, and his government, must comment on this great scandal, which was published by the Turkish media. Of course, if he actually has the courage to answer,” said al-Jaafari.
The diplomat pointed out that the events that took place in Kasab were a crime against Syrian civilians, “they include Armenians, whose ancestors fled the Ottoman massacres in the 1920s, and today they have faced a similar massacre, organized by the descendants of the Ottomans”. Turkish authorities used their tanks and artillery to provide cover for Chechens, Saudis, Afghans, Tunisians and other terrorists, funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, said the Syrian representative.
Al-Jaafari said that Erdogan had supported the attack, because, being afraid of defeat in the upcoming elections, he was eager to open an imaginary front. According to the diplomat, Erdogan did not hesitate to sacrifice innocent Syrians in Kasab and other localities, in order to distract attention of the Turkish public from the accumulated mistakes he had made during his years in office. Al-Jaafari said that this was a double crime, which, first of all, violated the sovereignty of Syria and increased violence and, second, manipulated the interests of the Turkish people.
It is characteristic that the U.S. did not condemn the massacre of Armenians in Kasab – although, about 1.5 million Armenians live in the United States, who form an influential lobby in the country. This is understandable. After the events in Ukraine and the joining of Crimea to Russia, Washington is looking for some way to revenge itself upon Moscow, even through third countries. Moreover, as it is known, Russia supports Syria. The United States has already started talks about the introduction of no-fly zones in northern and southern parts of the SAR, where rebel forces could be placed under the air cover of NATO. In addition, there are calls in Washington to supply heavy weapons to the rebels, including tanks and MANPADS. Only the fact that Syria has destroyed only 50% of its chemical weapons stock by now, holds back Washington from more active actions. During his visit to Riyadh, President Obama failed to agree on a deal with the rulers of the KSA on allocating 15 billion dollars to support the new government of Ukraine, in exchange for a more aggressive U.S. policy toward Syria. Yet in any case, this approach of Washington contributes to the policy of de-Christianization of the Middle East, pursued by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. As it is, many Christians, including Armenians, fled to Lebanon and Europe. Moreover, in Iraq, the U.S. arranged a real “exodus” of Christians of various confessions, when nearly one million Christians fled from the country, where there had been 1.2 million Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians, including to Syria and Lebanon. This was the result of the American occupation, which led to the rise of the radical Islamist movement. Thus, Obama’s hypocrisy is quite evident, and this time it was demonstrated in relation to the massacre of Armenians in Kasab.
As of March 30, Syrian forces drove the militants of Dzhabhat en-Nusra from the Kasab area and, having destroyed several hundred of them, forced the extremists to escape to Turkey. Now we should expect further provocations by the USA, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia against Syria. – After all, the White House does not like defeat.
Viktor Titov, PhD in History, a political observer on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”