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Syria voices condemnation of Armenian Genocide, likens it to terrorist crimes nowadays

Previously published (23/3/15) on SANA.

23 April? 2015

Yerevan, SANA – Syria expressed on Thursday at a global forum its condemnation of the genocide which the Ottoman Turks committed against the Armenian people in 1915.

The global forum "Against the Crime of Genocide" was held in the Armenian capital Yerevan commemorating the Centennial of the well-known genocide, which is marked on April 24 every year.

Delivering Syria's speech, Speaker of the People's Assembly Mohammad Jihad al-Laham said history will not forgive those "who didn't learn the lessons of wars on other peoples."

See also: Hockey abandons plans to speak at Armenian "genocide" centenary ceremony as Tony Abbott prepares to attend ANZAC Day services at Gallipoli | The Australian (24/4/15), Syria recognizes the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire, Parliament Speaker says | Public Radio of Armenia (24/4/15), Millions worldwide mark 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide (PHOTO, VIDEO) | RT (25/4/15), Armenia, Turkey still at odds a century after 1915 massacre | RT (22/4/15) and other articles about the Armenian Genocide.

The current Turkish government, the successor of the Ottomans, has thrust itself so deeply in the current crisis in Syria, opening its land wide to terrorists coming from all corners of the world to cross border into Syria and commit horrible crimes against its people.

"Any crime against humans must be condemned and rejected whoever the perpetrator, and how if that crime was a genocide in which more than a million and a half of the brotherly Armenian people were killed," al-Laham told the forum.

"We in Syria have always felt the Armenians' sense of belonging is as much to Syria as it is to Armenian and vice versa," he said, affirming that the Armenians in Syria are an integral part of its people.

Al-Laham drew parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the mass crimes targeting the people in Syria and Iraq, saying the crimes systematically committed by the terrorists in both countries target all of the two peoples' components and are aimed at cleansing areas of their inhabitants.

These, and the deliberate damaging of the cultural heritage and the archeological and historical sites in Syria and Iraq, all constitute "a genocide against humanity" and crimes against the history and culture, he added.

While stressing that the history of appalling criminality is repeating itself now through the terrorists of today, al-Laham said this would not have happened was it not for those states and sides that are supplying the terrorists with whatever funds, arms, training and political and media cover they need to commit crimes.

Armenian Premier: We support Syria in confronting terrorism, seek more economic cooperation

Later, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said his country supports Syria in its fight against the terrorism exported to it from different countries.

During his meeting with Speaker al-Laham Abrahamyan stressed that the historical relations between Syria and Armenia are firmly established.

He saw that the Syrian participation in the forum, which marks the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, committed by the Ottomans in 1915, reflects how much deep is the friendship relations binding the people of Syria and Armenia.

Out of Armenia's interest in further activating the parliamentary, political and economic relations with Syria, Abrahamyan used the opportunity of his meeting with al-Laham to extend an invitation to the Syrian Prime Minister to visit Armenia with a view of expanding the areas of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Al-Laham renewed Damascus's solidarity with Yerevan on the occasion, calling for joint work on the international level to prevent such crimes from being repeated through eliminating the terrorism ravaging Syria and Iraq.

Qabas/Haifa Said

Appendix: Other articles about the Armenian Genocide

Why Israel does not recognize the Armenian 'genocide' | Washington Post (24/4/15), Why Israel still refuses to recognize a century-old genocide | the Times of Israel (24/4/15), Obama again avoids the term 'genocide' with Armenia | USA Today (24/4/15), As Armenia marks 1915 killing, Berlin calls it genocide | Reuters (24/4/15), Armenians mark 100 years since massacre, Recognizing the Armenian Genocide | theStar.com (20/4/15), Armenian genocide survivors' stories: 'My dreams cannot mourn' | The Guardian (24/4/1515), Obama, Armenia, and What Hitler Learned About Genocide Denial | The Daily Beast (23/4/15), Armenian 'genocide': Nine ethnic and religious groups facing extermination today | The Independent (24/4/15), Armenian Genocide March Will Halt West Hollywood Eastside Traffic on Friday | WeHo ville (23/4/15).

Comments

The following was recently posted to the [nosyriaintervebtion] mailing list;

I find the near coincidence of the commencement of the Armenian genocide on 24 April 1915 with the Gallipoli landings the next day to be chilling. By the estimate given by Speaker of the People's Assembly Mohammad Jihad al-Laham (see article above - Ed), more than half a million Armenians perished in the genocide.

Had the Gallipoli landings actually helped prevent or reduce the scale of the genocide, it may be possible to justify the sacrifice the deaths of 8,000 Australians out of the total 44,072 allied fatalities at Gallipoli.

However, as far as I am aware, the campaign did nothing to reduce the scale of the genocide. Conceivably, it may have caused the Ottoman rulers to increase the scale of genocide.

Whatever the truth, no narrative of the Gallipoli campaign, that I have read, has placed the campaign in the context of the Armenian genocide. (Neither have any of those narratives placed the campaign in the context of the nearby Balkan conflicts of which the First World War was merely an extension for the people in the region.)

The supposed subsequent reconciliation between the soldiers of two sides that were trying to kill each other in 1915 seems to me to have largely been a consequence of the Australian and Turkish Governments having become effectively allied against the new Russian government of Vladimir Lenin which created an autonomous republic from Armenians to live in and which supported that republic militarily against Turkey.