Dr. Basim Zayto discusses Sayfo genocide in first ever Jordanian TV broadcast on the topic

AMMAN – For the first time on a Jordanian TV channel, Dr. Basim Zayto spoke about the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian (CSA) people in 1915, in which more than 275,000 had been killed.

“Sayfo is a Syriac word meaning sword,” said Dr. Zayto. “The Genocide had been named Sayfo after the Ottoman Empire used the sword in the systematic killing of our Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people.”

Dr. Zayto stated that it could be argued that the Sayfo began in 1895 during what has come to be called the Hamidian Massacres which targeted the Christian peoples (CSAs, Armenians, and Greeks) in Tur Abdin, Northern Syria, the Nineveh Plains, and Western Iran. Over a century later, these areas are now largely devoid of the indigenous Syriac residents.

The demographics of these regions have been devastatingly changed, their features and history obliterated, an act being repeated in the modern era by some of the descendants of the Ottoman Empire.

Dr. Zayto noted that King Faisal, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, appealed to Jamal Pasha to stop these criminal deeds against the Syriac people, including the persecution of intellectuals and clerics from all components of the region at that time, calling on all countries to receive and protect the persecuted Christians.

While Jordan has not officially recognized the Sayfo, Armenian, or Pontic Greek genocides, King Abdullah II made a historic first trip to Armenia in February of this year and Dr. Zayto’s appearance is the first such discussion of these genocides to appear on Jordanian TV.