TEL TAMR, Syria — The people of Tel Tamr in the Khabur River Valley issued a public statement on Thursday in front of the Al-Qadissa Church condemning the Turkish bombardment of their villages and homes, comparing the attacks as akin to those launched by the Islamic State (ISIS) on the region in 2015.
“We, as the peoples of Tel Tamr, including Syriacs–Assyrians, Kurds, and Arabs, condemn the barbaric Turkish attacks on Tel Tamr and the Syriac–Assyrian villages on the banks of the Khabur River, with heavy and advanced weapons,” the statement read. “The Islamic State failed to break the will of the peoples of the region, and now the Turkish state is attempting to complete what ISIS started.”
The statement added that the peoples of the region, from all ethnic and religious backgrounds, support the military forces protecting the region, including the Tel Tamr Military Council, the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS), the Assyrian Khabur Guards, and the Al-Natura forces.
The statement called on the international community to end the violations committed by Turkey against the people of North and East Syria and to intervene immediately to stop the ethnic cleansing and massacres characteristic of the areas occupied by Turkey and the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) at the hands of the occupying Turkish state and its proxies.
The Turkish aggression threatens the security and safety of the Syriac–Assyrian component in the Khabur, a people who have been subjected to several campaigns seeking their destruction, from the 1915 Sayfo genocide, to the 1933 Simele massacre, to the 2015 invasion by the Islamic State.
“We are steadfast and will not give up the land of our ancestors,” stated the people of Tel Tamr. “A war is being waged against our region, which promotes that our land has become empty, rumors that only serve the interests of Turkey.”