51st anniversary of Sorya massacre in Iraq 1969 commemorated in Australia

VICTORIA, Australia — Wednesday will be the 51st anniversary of the Sorya massacre. On 16 September 1969, Baathist’s descended on the village and brutally murdered 38 innocent Syriac Chaldean civilians with automatic rifle fire.

The inhabitants of Sorya were gathered into a barn where they were, without exception, violently gunned down.

All of the village’s inhabitants were killed, including the village’s priest, Father Hanna Qasha. Women and children were not spared.

Sorya Massacre commemoration event in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 2011. (Image: Ishtar)

The Australian Chaldean Federation in Victoria issued a statement commemorating the massacre.

“Each year on 16 September, we commemorate a tragic bloody anniversary that our Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people had experienced in the Iraqi village of Sorya, that peaceful Chaldean village which has fraternity with all peoples,” the statement read.

“On the 51st anniversary of the Sorya massacre, we call on the governments of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the central government in Baghdad to provide justice to the victims and complete the project of their tombs in Sorya in accordance with their rights as martyrs since they were all buried in a mass grave at the time.”

The statement indicated that, due to the coronavirus, no events will be held to commemorate that painful incident.