April 5, 2014 - 16:14 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Over 300 people including representatives of Armenian, Syrian and Russian social organizations gathered Friday, April 5 outside Syrian embassy in Moscow to commemorate the victims of Kessab events.
Located in the northwestern corner of Syria, near the border with Turkey, Kessab had, until very recently, evaded major battles in the Syrian conflict. The local Armenian population had increased in recently years with the city serving as safe haven for those fleeing from the war-torn cities of Yacubiye, Rakka and Aleppo. On the morning of March 21 extremist foreign fighters launched a vicious attack on Kessab civilians, forcing them to flee neighboring Latakia and Bassit. There are approximately 60 families living in refuge in the Armenian Apostolic Church in Latakia, sleeping wherever there is space in the facility.
The participants of the event urged politicians worldwide to harshly condemn the Turkey-supported attack, to prevent recurrence of the tragedy in future.
A number of organizations are raising funds for outreach to the Kessab Armenians. Those include the Armenian Red Cross Society and New Nakhichevan and Russian Eparchy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
A number of politicians focused on the tragedy, with Kessab events discussed during the meetings of President Serzh Sargsyan with the CSTO chief Nikolay Bordzyuzha and Armenian envoy in Germany Vahan Hovhannisyan with Bundestag president Norbert Lammert.
At a news conference in Yerevan, the residents of Kessab urged media to exercise caution while reporting on the town-related events to avoid misinforming the readers.
Meanwhile, the Coordination Council of Russian-Armenian Organizations issued an address to Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The statement drew parallels between Kessab events and the 1915 Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkey.
At the same time, according to Argumenty i Fakty Russian weekly, U.S. is readying a plan to expand military support to Syrian rebels. The almost finalized plan envisages expansion of training missions, increased armed supplies to Jordan-based militant groups. Besides the U.S., the militant training may involve Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and France, AiF sources reported.