On February 13, the People’s Council of Syria passed a decree officially recognizing the Arminian genocide by the Ottoman Empire.
The decree, that was passed unanimously, condemns the genocide and calls it “one of the cruelest and most horrifying crimes against humanity.” The decree also condemns any attempt to deny the genocide.
“The People’s Assembly of the Syrian Arab Republic at its meeting on Thursday 13-2-2020 recognizes and condemns the crime of genocide of the Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century as it condemns any attempt by any party to deny this crime and distort the historical truth about it,” the decree reads.
Stressing the important of the new decree, Hammouda Sabbagh, speaker of the People’s Council, said that humanity has a duty to recognize and condemn the Arminian genocide.
Hinting at the increasing Turkish intervention in Syria, Sabbagh said that the resilient of Syrian soldiers has prevented what he called a “new Ottoman monster” from appearing.
1.5 million Armenians within the Ottoman Empire, most of whom were citizens, were systematically murdered by the Ottoman government from approximately 1914 to 1923. To this day, Turkey denies this.
Many of the genocide survivors escaped to northern Syria, where they formed large communities. Armenian Syrians was badly affected by the war in the country, especially the communities of Aleppo, al-Haskaah and Lattakia.
Syria’s decision to recognize the Arminian genocide is most likely linked to the recent escalation with Turkey. Ankara increased its support for the remaining militants in the country’s northwestern region and even threatened the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) with military force.