Issue Background

Standing with Middle East Armenian Communities

Armenians and other vulnerable civilian populations have been caught between warring sides in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

These conflicts have created humanitarian crises for Armenian communities across the region.

Within Syria, much of the historic Armenian community has been destroyed, with residential neighborhoods being bombed, churches desecrated, and individuals killed or kidnapped.  Those that remain are working to save their community and serve the basic humanitarian needs of the most needy among them.

Troubling examples of anti-Armenian violence by ISIS extremists, supported by the Turkish military, include:

In September of 2014, the Armenian Genocide Memorial - an international center of remembrance - was bombed by ISIS forces, operating with the support of the Turkish military.

In March of 2014, the historic town of Kessab - one of the very few indigenous Western Armenian populations to have survived the Armenian Genocide - was attacked and depopulated by ISIS forces supported by the Turkish military.

The ANCA calls on the U.S government and the entire international community to leverage their political influence to demand a stop to attacks on civilians and the restriction of military operations to non-residential areas.

The ANCA requests that USAID address serious gaps in the delivery of need-based humanitarian aid within Syria, that have left Armenians and other at-risk minority populations largely outside the stream of international assistance.

The ANCA calls for increased U.S. and international assistance to help Armenia settle the more than 16,000 refugess from Syria who have found safe haven in Armenia.