TEL TAMR, Syria — U.S. President Joe Biden’s recognition of Armenian Genocide marked a turning point for the Armenian people, and for U.S.–Turkish relations. It also gave hope to other Christian peoples who had been massacred in 1915, such as the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) and Pontic Greek peoples and has encouraged them to demand recognition of the massacres and genocides to which they have been subjected.
Biden’s recognition also resonated widely beyond Christians in region to the Arab and Kurdish communities of North and East Syria.
Nabil Warda, an Assyrian and member of the Khabur Guards from the town of Tel Tamr situated along the Khabur River, told SuroyoTV that although the recognition was delayed, it is good for the future, adding that the massacres against the Armenians were not the only mass crimes committed, referring to the atrocities committed by Ottoman forces against the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean), Greek, and Yezidi peoples.
Warda added, “We, as Suraye, ask the whole world, the United States of America, and the United Nations, to protect us, to prevent the recurrence of the Simele Massacre and the events of Khabur in 2015.”
In 1933, between 3,000–6,000 Assyrians were massacred by the Kingdom of Iraq in the town of Simele. In 2015, the Islamic State invaded the predominantly Syriac–Assyrian towns and villages of the Khabur River Valley.
“We all know, as published in the media, that the massacres of 1915 took place in conjunction with the Ottoman Empire’s preoccupation with World War I, said Idris Nomo, a Kurd from Tel Tamr. “This genocide took place after the agreement between the Ottomans and the Germans.”
Nomo added that the Ottomans committed these massacres, in accordance with the Turkish saying that every Turkish soldier who kills 40 Armenians will enter paradise, and the current Turkish state was based on what was looted after the genocides. “We all know that what Azerbaijan did in Karabakh was supported by the Turkish government and Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party,” he added.
“Although it’s delayed, it’s a good decision against Erdogan’s government and the voice of history must be delivered to international courts and human rights organizations,” said Nomo on President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “We know with certainty the Turkish plans to change the geography of our regions in Afrin, Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad, so we ask Biden to take more serious steps against the Turks, to prevent such massacres against other components in the future.”