Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and European Syriac Union to German President Steinmeier: The Bundestag should also recognize the 2014 ethnic cleansing of Syriacs by ISIS as genocide

BERLIN / BRUSSELS / ERBIL — The Bundestag unanimously recognized the Yezidi genocide on January 19, 2023. The Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and the European Syriac Union, in a joint letter to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, expressed gratitude over the German parliament’s recognition but at the same time called the failure to also recognize the ethnic cleansing of the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on August 6, 2014, a serious shortcoming.

In their letter, the two parties state that with the full recognition of the genocide, Germany has declared solidarity with humanity and with the peoples who suffered from genocide in the Middle East. The United Nations, the European Union and many other states preceded it in recognizing the genocide of the Yezidis in Shigur (Shengal), Iraq, in early August 2014 by the Islamic State. Germany has shown it to be a true defender of democratic values and the unanimity of vote by political parties represented in the German Bundestag on this has given great moral strength to the Christians, Yazidis and all oppressed social groups in the Middle East.

However, HBA and ESU express great disappointment in the lack of recognition of the genocide of the Suryoye (Syriacs), which took place at the same time with the genocide in the Shengal region. This deliberate extermination of the Syriac people is one of several where they have been victims of genocides and massacres in the Middle East (1895 and 1915, among others) and have suffered continuous social trauma. The ISIS extremist mentality is always looking for an opportunity to commit such brutal acts against Syriacs and humanity:

“Another religiously and ethnically based genocide was committed against our Suryoye people in the Nineveh Plains starting on August 6, 2014. Tens of thousands of our people had to leave their homes and flee for their lives. ISIS then expanded its attacks against our people to the Jazeera Region (northeastern Syria). Dozens of villages in the Khabur Region near the city of Hasakah were occupied and looted. Hundreds of our people were taken hostage. As a result of these attacks, our people in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq and northeastern Syria suffered great disaster and were once again expelled from their ancestral homeland. Our historical artifacts in Iraq and Syria were destroyed or sold to smugglers. These attacks were another attempt to erase our people and its history in the Middle East,” HBA and ESU state.

To prevent further genocides in the future, it is imperative that the German Bundestag recognize the political status of the Suryoye and take measures to protect their lives, the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and the European Syriac Union (both affiliated with the Bethnahrin National Council) say in their joint letter.

The two Syriac parties therefore call on the German government to support the establishment of the Nineveh Autonomous Region, recognize the August 2014 genocide in the Nineveh Plain as such, guarantee the political status and security of the Suryoye people in the Nineveh Plain, take initiative to bring the 2014 perpetrators before an international tribunal, and to provide displaced people with opportunities to return.