Members of Congress, ANCA Hold Press Conference on Kessab - VIDEO -
With the U.S. Capitol looming large in the background, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) led a Congressional press conference condemning the forced depopulation of the historically Armenian city of Kessab, Syria by Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists aided and abetted by neighboring Turkey, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Congressman Schiff was joined by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Brad Sherman (D-CA), as well as ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian in calling for increased U.S. leadership in assisting those displaced and investigating Turkey's role in facilitating the attack.
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian thanked each of the legislators taking part in the news conference, stressing that: "These attacks came from Turkey, with the clear support of the Turkish military. We should have a zero-tolerance policy for any NATO ally working with Al-Qaeda-linked groups to attack religious minorities. It's for this reason, that we support calls upon the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate Turkey's role in the attack on Kessab. We deserve to know if our allies - and possibly our arms - are being turned against Christians in the Middle East," concluded Hamparian.
Americans can join in the call for a Congressional Intelligence Committee investigation by taking action athttp://www.anca.org/savekessab.
Located in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, evaded major battles in the Syrian conflict. The local Armenian population had increased in recent years with the city serving as safe-haven for those fleeing from the war-torn cities of Yacubiye, Rakka and Aleppo. On the morning of March 21st, extremist foreign fighters launched a vicious attack, from Turkey, on Kessab civilians, forcing over 2,000 to flee to neighboring Latakia and Bassit. An international social media campaign - #SaveKessab - has garnered broad media attention to the tragedy with over 100,000 tweeting about the crisis and tens of thousands calling for immediate U.S. and U.N. action.