ASIA/SYRIA - Armenians and Kurds fight together against the jihadists in Hassaké

Monday, 20 July 2015

Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - There are at least 70 volunteer Armenian soldiers in the predominantly Kurdish ranks of the Popular Protection Unit (YPG), which in parallel with the Syrian army units are fighting to liberate the northeastern Syrian city of Hassake from the presence of the militia of the Islamic State (Daesh). This is confirmed by Kurdish sources, providing updates on the situation on the ground, that sees jihadi militias in clear difficulty, with 1,200 militants besieged in some neighborhoods of the city.
On Sunday, July 19 the government army helicopters bombed city areas still under the control of the Islamic state. Local activists linked to Kurdish information networks report a gradual return of the inhabitants to their homes, who fled before the jihad offensive. According to local sources contacted by Agenzia Fides, also the Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo has returned to Hassaké, after having taken refuge in Qamishli together with the faithful for several weeks.
The Syrian city of Hassake, largest town in the northeastern province of Jazira, in late June was the subject of a vehement militant attack of the Islamic State (Daesh), that had managed to occupy several areas, causing the mass exodus of at least 120 thousand people (see Fides 30/07/2015). Among the first to flee were also 4 thousand Christian families belonging to various Churches (Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrian Catholics and Syrian Orthodox) who still live as refugees in the neighboring urban area of Qamishli. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 20/07/2015)