Residents of Tel Tamr in North and East Syria stay put despite Turkish aggression

TEL TAMR, Syria — Despite the ongoing Turkish bombardment, the residents of Tel Tamr in the Khabur River Valley of North and East Syria have stayed in the region, refusing to be displaced from their homes yet again.

In a statement to a SuroyoTV correspondent, Co-Chair of Tel Tamr Council Jwan Ayoub stated that the Turkish occupation deliberately targets the Syriac–Assyrian villages of Khabur, in particular the village of Tal Shnan and its cemetery.

Ayoub added that during Sunday’s Divine Liturgy in Tel Tamr, the Turkish occupation launched an intense bombardment on the town, leading to the cancellation of the Liturgy.

The international silence on the Turkish violations needs to end, he said, demanding an immediate intervention to stop the Turkish attacks and protect the components of the region.

Ayoub said that there has been no displacement from the town, but the Turkish occupation deliberately sows fear with the aim of forcing the people to leave and destabilize the security and stability of the region. Many villagers from outside Tel Tamr have sought refuge in the town from Turkish artillery bombardments and the attempted incursions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).

Ayoub called on the Syriac–Assyrian component in the town to support the local military forces — the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS) and Tel Tamr Military Council — which are working to ensure the security and stability of the villages and towns of Khabur.

A Kurdish resident of the town stated that the Turkish claims circulated on social media about people fleeing the town are part of a campaign of psychological war waged by Turkey.

“Life is normal, all the residents are going to their daily work, and the institutions are providing services to the people,” he added.

He also called on the Syriac people outside Tal Tamer, not to be drawn into rumors of the Turkish occupation, pointing to the coexistence of all components of the region, including the Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans), Arabs, and Kurds.

An Arab resident stressed that the circulated news is false, saying that the people of the town from all backgrounds are ready to confront any potential Turkish aggression.

Turkish forces continue to violate the October 2019 ceasefire, targeting civilian areas and conducting a campaign of targeted assassinations.

Attempts to make the Khabur River Valley a canton for Syriacs (Assyrians-Chaldeans-Arameans) have so far remained unsuccessful.