The eradication of the Assyrian Christian community in the Khabur River Valley of Syria is nearing completion. The historical Assyrian homelands and villages in this region will soon belong either to ISIL or to the other Kurdish groups moving into Khabur such as the Kurdish PYD Party, the political arm of the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Currently ISIL holds almost 90% of the Khabur territories, including the villages and homes of the Assyrians of Syria.
Since the ISIL offensives on 23 February 2015 against the Assyrian villages and the capture of Assyrian civilians the number of airstrikes in support of Kurdish YPG units in the Khabur River valley has increased, and now ISIL may use the captured Assyrians as human shields.
As reported by the Independent in an article submitted by Patrick Cockburn, “An important aspect of the Kurdish offensive by the Kurdish YPG is that it is receiving air cover with US Central Command recording 21 airstrikes in two days against ISIS ground positions and vehicles.” In addition Mr. Cockburn writes: “This means that the US is now cooperating militarily with the YPG, whom it once viewed as part of a terrorist movement, as a major ally in the war against Islamic State in Syria.” The article continues: “This is an important development,” says veteran Syrian Kurdish Leaders Omar Sheikhmous. “It means that the PYD has reached an understanding with the US about cooperation.”
On Friday, 27 February 2015, Walid Shoebat, writing for Right Side News, published the text of an interview with Dr. Jamil Hanna of the Assyrian Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Hanna complained that “arming [Muslim] Kurds was a mistake in the first place and their presence [in some] 35 Christian villages simply brought ISIS to their area. The U.S. Coalition instead of arming the Assyrian Christians who are able to defend themselves armed the Kurds.” He added that: “the U.S. coalition should not concentrate on arming Kurds while ignoring all the other sects of what makes up the Syrian society”.
Mr. Shoebat opened his article with the statement that “the ISIS’s offensive underlines the emergence of the well-organized Syrian Kurdish militia as the main partner for the U.S.-led alliance against the Islamic State in Syria while revealing how little support and arms the Christian Assyrians have received.”
The Khabur River Valley is strategically important because it is the main supply and communication route from Al-Raqqah to Mosul and back. It has been important literally for thousands of years for that very reason, and for that reason the great powers of antiquity fought many battles to gain control over it. It remains important today for the Kurds, who have replaced the Assyrian Christians who had lived there since 1933.
In 1933 the Iraqi government army massacred Assyrian Christians in the village of Simele. The Assyrians who somehow managed to survive the massacre escaped into Syria. Now they have to return to the country that was responsible for slaughtering their fathers and mothers and grandparents. Worse, they are fleeing to an area that is largely controlled by ISIL. Even if the Assyrian refugees can make it past ISIL forces in Mosul and the Nineveh Plains they will find themselves living under the domination of the KRG–the same organization that is currently fighting to hold territory in the Khabur River Valley.
We at the NEC-SE urge our readers to examine all news reports coming from the region and to conduct their own open-source link analysis to discern the relationship patterns that are forming, or that have been formed, between the major allies and even their enemies in the conflict.
On 25 January 2015 I gave a speech in San Jose, California, informing the audience that there are Assyrians in the right places in both Iraq and Syria who need our support. In light of the enormous number of political issues the Assyrians have to deal with, this support can only be achieved through unity within the community. The main problem the Assyrians have is that small groups of “Assyrian Leaders” who are on foreign government payrolls, and who do not represent U.S interests in the region, have contentiously stated that they are the only representatives of the Assyrian nation. I recommend that our readers review our articles posted prior to this crisis in Syria to conduct a link analysis.
The U.S. instruments of power, knowing that these leaders are on payrolls of foreign governments, have been very hesitant to support even the most ardent America-aligned networks operating within the region. Now that U.S. instruments of power know that these “Assyrian leaders” are on the payroll of adversarial foreign governments, it is time for everyone else in our community to know who they truly are.
I recommend to our readers to go back to our posted articles prior to this crisis in Syria and see the link analysis, which we provided for you through selective postings. At the end of the day it is up to the individual reader visiting this site to educate themselves on all the various aspects of the topics. These are some complex issues which ultimately affect the lines of governance, development, and security crucial in achieving generational peace in the region and a footprint in self Governance for the Assyrians who will be eradicated permanently without self governance being at the forefront of a unified political effort in the region and abroad.