An Assyrian Christian village in northern Syria was bombed on 30 August by the Turkish air force as part of a military campaign against Kurdish militants.
The bombing raid destroyed many homes and damaged others in the village of Tel Tawil (also known as Beni Roumta), near the town of Tel Tamer in al-Hasakah governorate.
There were no casualties among the villagers, who were able to escape before the attack.
Turkey has been active in northern Syria since 2018, claiming to be combatting militants with links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as by the United States and the European Union.
An Assyrian leader, however, has explained that the Turkish offensive in Syria is displacing Christian communities in a manner similar to the genocide of Christians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and again under Islamic State (IS – also known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) in 2015.
Elias Antar Elias, the head of the Assyrian People’s Assembly in the Jazira region of north-east Syria, said, “The recent attacks on our villages brought back to our memory Safar Barlik in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire targeted us … Now, here in Syria, history is repeating itself.”
“Those who attack our villages … are no different from ISIS because they are displacing us and destroying our villages,” Elias continued.
In May 2021 Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan were forced to abandon homes and farmland due to a Turkish bombardment supposedly targeting the PKK. An analyst writing for The Jerusalem Post argued, “This looks like ethnic cleansing … Turkey has systematically targeted areas of Christian, Yazidi and Kurdish minorities.”