Kessab Entirely Emptied as Clashes Continue (Update, Video)

KESSAB, Syria (A.W.)—The predominantly Armenian-populated town of Kessab has been emptied after rebels associated with Al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam and Ansar al-Sham attacked the region in a bid to control strategic points in the area.

In the following video posted on YouTube, fighters are shown parading the streets of Kessab. The Armenian Apostolic Church also appears, and is identified by the gunmen as such, in the video.

Kessab was under fire over the past several days from gunmen entering the region from the Turkish border. By March 22, most of the town’s population had taken refuge in Latakia.

According to reports, Kessab and its surrounding villages are now largely under the control of rebels.

“According to a military source, units of the armed forces have since morning been directing fatal strikes to the terrorist groups which infiltrated the border from Turkey in Kassab area, inflicting heavy losses upon them,” reported the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 23.

Perched in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, evaded major battles between the army and rebels. Many Syrian Armenians had taken refuge there because of the relative calm in the area over the past three years.

Sarkisian points to sobering parallels

President Serge Sarkisian made a press statement concerning the events in Kessab at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague. The President expressed his deep concern over the events in Kessab. “All of us perfectly remember the history of Kessab, which was unfortunately, full of hellish realities deportations in the last century,” said Sarkisian.


  1. more ‘brotherly’ acts by terrorists with ‘human conscience’ I suppose ?
    any more of this type of ‘brotherly’ displays of ‘human conscience’ from ‘brotherly’ terrorists coming from – where else, ‘brotherly’ Turkey – no Armenians, other Christians, or Alawites will remain in Syria.

    ‘brotherly’ Islamist terrorist paradise at last.

  2. History repeating itself, again and again?? When will governments (aka EU) recognize that certain “pro-western, western” countries are still practicing the same “mode d’emplo” as their not too distant forefathers practiced, under another regime, under another name? Really?? This is disgusting.

  3. Who is protecting the citizens of Kessab in Syria?
    Are there any ” humane” counter terrorists to protect the people in Kessab?
    Conscience? No knowledge of that word in the terrorist agenda. Plunder , yes. What about the famous
    Legionnaires? What about the Armenian forces in Afghanistan? Other interim forces to protect the people?

  4. Latest uprising in Turkey is directly connected to Rajab Oghloo’s inability to cope with his internal headaches. He tries to diverse Europe attention toward Syria, in order to clamp down “Geziests” rioters with more brutal force. Sultan Rajab hopes by sending terrorists toward Syria and downing a Syrian warplane will make his people calm. The same tactic played with Axeri dictator, Sultan Aliyev, when ever his dictatorial regime become shaky, his demoralized Sheikhdom soldiers are in shooting showdown games against Armenian defense forces!!

  5. Dear Mr. Bouldoukian,
    I especially like your last sentence(above).My view?
    Both of latter a necessity.Legionaires and a Unite or two from those that are sent to join the UN forces ,In Kosovo,Afganistan and elsewhere….
    When do we get together(you me and the ¨other¨ co thinkers?

  6. why on earth did they attack this region and no one knew they were coming ???
    i really think armenians ought to wake up to themselves and realize what is going on there and realize that this entire region is where their genocide happened and need to seriously smarten up and leave instead of persistently sticking around like dumb donkeys and being sheep for islamists and turks. remember the genocide, learn from history , i dont want to see armenians constantly victims of others aggression. wake up !!!

  7. It is a shame for what has happened in Kessab to the Armenian Community. Obviously the Turks & the Syrian rebels are behind this to eliminate all Christian Armenians from the area. It is time for all Armenians in the Arab countries that they must be prepared for these on slaughts against our people and to go back to our free homeland of Armenia. This is a wakeup call for those Armenians living in the Middle East.

  8. We need to remember that Assad committed a genocide against his own people with poison gas, killing nearly 2000 people.

    Armenians cannot take the side of this murderer, and Armenians cannot get in the way of the rebels who try to remove this murderer. Otherwise, they will be wiped out swiftly. According to recent Armenian reports, 64 Armenians have died in the civil war, which is a tiny portion of the 100,000 plus Syrians who have died in the civil war. Which means Syrian Armenians have to choices. Either to stay and endure the very low death rate. Or to get their bones from the Ter Zor museum and leave. They can donate the bones to Yerevan’s Genocide Museum and then flee to the U.S. or Europe (they have nothing to do in undemocratic Armenia).

  9. “Armenian god” your poor analytic estimate prove to AW readers that you must be a shit disturber, like an homesick Axeri Turk living in US.

    If your beloved democratic country did not arm fanatic Muslims, then nothing would happen to Armenians in Syria.

    I wonder, what would be your reaction when US start arming those “Axeri terrorists” against Tatar Turk mafia boss Aliyev!

    This is a high times for Syrian Armenians move to Artsakh permanently!

  10. The murder of 2,000 people is nowhere close to being the minimum requirement in order for it to be classified a genocide, as that Turkbaijani poster falsely claims in regard to President Assad’s supposed gas attack on his own people.

    How extremely absurd it is to say that “Armenians cannot get in the way of the rebels.” The truth of the matter here, is that those Islamic terrorists are targeting Armenians, as well as other Christians in their terrorist attacks. He/she also attempts to minimize the significance of the number of Armenian deaths caused by those terrorists by referring to it as very low. This once again proves that this particular poster belongs to a cultural group which is an enemy of the Armenian people.

  11. Although painful, there could still be a silver lining to this tragedy. Maintaining ourselves in these backwater countries should not be our national goal. Our number one priority should be continuous progress and growth for our people and nation. We have been in a time warp in these backwards Middle Eastern countries for the past century. If we had invested our intellectual and tangible capital in more modern western countries, we would have by now produced major movers and shakers who would have directly and indirectly helped Armenia. Instead, we have languished in backwards societies and have even taken on their mindset of third rate peoples. I suppose one could make an argument about Kessab being traditionally Armenian, but what about Aleppo, Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran or even Beirut? These are not traditional Armenian lands, but yet we cling on to them as if they belong to us. At the very least, Middle Eastern Armenians should have started the migration towards Armenia 20 years ago. Unfortunately, many refused to sacrifice and believe in their homeland and are now dearly paying the price.
    Of course, this takes unselfish motivation and dedication for the greater good. It takes a people, like the Jews, to dedicate themselves for a brighter future of their own making. Equity takes time to build, and time is what we have had and wasted in the last one hundred years. I hope that the next one hundred years yields a better return on our investment.

  12. Turkey is hosting over 700,000 refugees, yet Armenian diaspora crying about a village of a population that’s less than 2000?

    What about all the other Syrians suffering? Why no protest about that?

    How many refugees Armenia hosting again? Less than 4,000!

    Be honest, you only care about Christians, you do not see others as humans who also suffer in the conflict.

    It’s a full blown mental disease. The Armenian diaspora reveals itself as self centred and politically opportunist.

    We know you are racist nationalist thugs, and we will expose you for what you are.

    We know you are racists against Turks. We also know you are religious bigots too.

    • Yes, refugees that your own government helped create in a sectarian civil war where your government supports al-Qaeda (and this has been exposed and we are going to keep the pressure on any way we can). Again, Turks constantly blaming others for their own problems they have created and then feeling the need to lash out. Turkey probably should of had the foresight not to support jihadists if they couldn’t deal with the fallout. Furthermore, we have every right to be concerned that the town was depopulated and probably forever.

      Armenians, being only a small minority has remained neutral (as it has in other M.E. conflicts) and watched as the country has been ravaged by terrorists, thugs, proxies, etc and despite this have still been attacked (along with other Christians- very early on in the conflict) in several places such as Homs, Aleppo, Maloula, and now forced out of their last remaining and peaceful town. We did not create the problem but you and your jihadi friends did. Its hard to get too worked up about people who automatically attack you as apostate or Assad supporters because of your religion and your desire to be left alone in peace. But as always, we build and you destroy. We create and you steal.

      We don’t hate Arabs, or Persians, or Sunni or Shiite but yes, we hate Turks, well, most of them. You can expose that all you want, most people already know and absolutely understand why. Religious bigots attack other due to faith and this has transpired time and time again against Armenians, especially at the hands of Turks. Yes, we do care a great deal about Christians as that is what we are and you probably care a great deal about Muslims.

    • The biggest religious bigots are you & your government.Turkey is the biggest supporter of the Muslim fanatical extremists from AXebeijan,Turkey,Chechnya,Tunis,Yemen & so on supported & armed by the mighty Turkish state which hides behind such despicable groups.Very soon these organizations will turn their guns towards Turkey & all those countries that are helping them. already we’ve seen one of your adorable fanatic killing 3 Turkish policemen in the south east.Good luck & enjoy them together with your renewed powerful Muslim government.

  13. And where, precisely is Turkey’s humane concern?

    In truth, the only speck of humanity Turkey cares about is a long dead inhabitant of a grave of some ancient barbaric thief.

    Kessab, although small, is important to us for many reasons. We know and have Kessab friends. It was 100 per cent Armenian, and your AQ allies targeted it that for that reason. It is on the Turkish border, so we know it could not have happened without your encouragement if not direction.

    As Christians we have concern and empathy for all civilians under fire and starving. You and Your Sunni allies are the ones with blood on their scimitars.

    Turkey hopes to move into a vacuum when Suria collapses. Turkey assumes she can keep AQ under control. Fat chance. You violent Muslims love killing, and you turn on each other for the most part.

    That’s because you ran out of Serbians, Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians to kill quite a while ago.

  14. “Attilla Altai”: “Turkey is hosting over 700,000 refugees…”

    By which Turkey is getting paid by your western OWNERS for getting you to do their dirty work.

    And which Turkey is every bit as responsible as the terrorist groups it hosts and sponsors against a sovereign nation.

    You have some nerve coming here and talking about “racism” while your artificial country has been cleansed through Genocide(s) of its indigenous population.

    You don’t need to “expose us” – when it comes to you turanist remnants we will tell you in your face in front of the whole world at any time you like, you are a bunch of nomadic minded, savage, worthless, brainwashed, terrorist extremists who were never invited to our lands, and you still don’t belong in it, despite a successful Genocide.

    You can hold our lands, but you will never own it. In fact you need to watch your backs as part of your permanent identity going forward. And one day when your guards are down, you will find yourself back in your real homeland, if your name is any indication.

    • “You have some nerve coming here and talking about “racism” while your artificial country has been cleansed through Genocide(s) of its indigenous population.”

      Exactly. I find it idiotic of the Turks that they have the audacity complain about racism. There is nothing more racist than to commit massacres for decades culminating in a genocide and then deny it happened. You simply cannot get more hateful, fascist, and racist that that- it would be impossible to top that.

  15. Unfortunately, that’s what it’s like to be a national minority in any not so stable country. It is only a matter of time when your environment starts abusing you. C’est la vie. There was a genocide of ethnic Russians in the 90’s in Chechnya when Moscow failed to protect them after the collapse of the USSR. That’s why the only advise to Armenians living there is to leave the area for good and relocate somewhere else safe and stable in order to save the lives of their families and not risk being a hostage of the political situation. I wish luck to all people of Kessab.

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