US House of Representatives recognizes the 1915 Genocide on Armenians, Syriacs & Greeks

Yesterday the US House of Representatives, with an overwhelming majority, passed Resolution House Resolution 296, in which the House recognizes and condemns the Genocide of 1915 on Armenian, Syriac and Pontus-Greek Christians, planned and perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule:
“Whereas the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians;”

The Genocide of 1915 perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule – in collaboration with local Kurdish tribes in what is now Southeast Turkey – against Armenians, Pontus-Greeks and Syriacs resulted in the massacre of more than one and half million innocent souls. Hundreds of thousands had to endure hardships under (death) marches south to the Syrian desert and tens of thousands of women and orphaned children were taken and Islamised. The genocide of 1915 caused the social, cultural and economic destruction of Armenians, Syriacs and Pontus-Greeks in current day Turkey. It is a recognition, which comes at a time when indigenous peoples as the Syriacs (Arameans-Assyrians-Chaldeans), Armenians and other vulnerable groups face new violence, displacement and decimation in Syria with the Turkish invasion into North & East Syria.

Although late overdue, and although previous Houses passed similar resolutions, and often only in a time of very tense relationships between the USA and Turkey, the recognition of the 1915 genocide by the US House of Representatives is a further and important step towards formal worldwide acceptance of past atrocities. By recognizing the genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians, US representatives send a clear political and moral message to Turkey to come to terms with its past and present.