The truth about Syria
Posted 07 April 2017 - 03:52 AM
Posted 27 May 2017 - 09:21 AM
Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
May 25, 2017 Thursday
Families and individuals: Syrian-Armenians gradually return to Aleppo
YEREVAN, MAY 25, ARMENPRESS. In general, the situation in Aleppo is
good, the city’s recovery works are being carried out normally, Jirair
Reisian – Armenian lawmaker of Syria’s Parliament told Armenpress,
stating that after Aleppo’s liberation the situation is better, there
is no state of insecurity in the city.
“There are no shots in Aleppo, sometimes, small incidents, unexpected
clashes happen, however, the unsafe situation of previous days no more
exists. It is calm in the city”, Jirair Reisian said.
He said the water problem is solved, there is a natural water supply.
The electricity in the city was off for a long time, during those
years people bought electricity for lighting and taking care of their
daily needs. Already through the efforts of the authorities
electricity is provided for several times a day. As this is not
enough, people still continue buying electricity.
The roads in Aleppo are mainly open, especially inside the city.
Outside the city as well the roads are open. As for the safety,
incidents, clashes happen from time to time as a result of which the
traffic is suspended for several hours so that to prevent such
incidents. In any case, in general, traffic exists.
There is no shortage of food in the city, however, in line with this,
there are economic hardships, the income is limited, but the expenses
are multiplied. During the war the depreciation of Syrian currency
became the main reason for increase of prices of goods. The Armenian
lawmaker said the prices of goods will hardly return to the previous
level, thus, the economic difficulties still will be maintained.
“The classes come to an end, exams will start which will be followed
by the holiday season. As you know, the educational institutions need
renovations, the state is engaged in this work. I believe the
situation will gradually improve. Of course, we understand that this
is a long-term issue”, he said.
As for the business, Reisian said the trade centers operate normally,
but as for the production, it is still at the stage of initial steps.
“Many are unable to totally restore the destroyed, looted factories.
Few have chances to restore the production, however, not fully.
Therefore, we can state that the production section is not restored
yet”, he said.
Commenting on the possible return of Armenians to Aleppo, the Armenian
lawmaker said there is a certain progress.
“Of course, I have no statistics, however we hear names of people who
return. I can say that there are people who return to Aleppo,
including families and individuals”, Jirair Reisian stated.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:17 AM
YEREVAN. – Both Americans and Israel are conducting secret talks with the Kurds of Iraq and Syria, historian and turkologist Ruben Safrastyan told reporters on Monday.
In response to a comment that the State Department and Iran spoke out against establishment of a Kurdish state, the turkologist said: “Yes, both the State Department, and Iran stated that they oppose this process, but as historical experience suggests, issues related to the Kurds, are in focus of interests of great powers and regional states. Here statements and real actions do not coincide in many cases.”
“There is evidence that both Americans and Israel are conducting secret talks with Iraqi Kurds. That is, there is a big game in the Middle East,” added Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Orientology at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.
Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:01 AM
Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, Sputnik News reports.
“Presently, negative processes are underway in Syria. In case they lead to a threat to our borders, we will respond the same way as during the Euphrates Shield operation,” Erdogan told the Russian Izvestia newspaper, adding that Turkey would not allow establishment of a Kurdish state in Syria and was ready to carry out another large-scale military campaign if needed.
Izvestia newspaper reminds that Ankara considers the Kurdish forces as a terror group. The newspaper notes that Erdogan’s above-mentioned statement caused great anxiety in Moscow and Washington.
Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:10 AM
By Mary Wiens, CBC News Posted: Jun 28, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 28, 2017 5:00 AM ET
Brothers Simon and Levon Hasserjian generated $60 million in revenue at Rex Power Magnetics in 2016. The goal was not growth, so much as creating jobs for Syrian-Armenian refugees. (Mary Wiens/CBC)
Journalist/ Producer | Metro Morning
Only a year and a half after arriving in Canada, Levon Markarian feels at home on the factory floor of Rex Power Magnetics. In Syria, Markarian owned a small tool and die factory. In Toronto, he's building electrical transformers and rebuilding his life at the Rex factory in Vaughan.
The company, with almost 300 employees, pursued an aggressive expansion plan in 2016, increasing sales by ten per cent to $60 million. The expansion was based on sound business practices, says Levon Hasserjian, one of the plant co-owners with his brother, Simon, but the goal was not growth for its own sake.
Instead, it was primarily to create new jobs for the wave of refugees arriving from Syria.
In the war zone in Aleppo, Markarian's factory was on the front line and betrayals were commonplace. Markarian says one of his former customers who'd joined the militants' side took over the factory, forcing Markarian back into the plant to finish a production line begun when the war broke out. It was the price Markarian had to pay for safe return to his family on the other side of Aleppo.
On the floor of Rex Power Magnetics, Markarian has no plans to start another company of his own.
"Why plan tomorrow? Here is different," says Markarian. "Because you don't have all the responsibility on your shoulders — to leave. Here, only you work and go home. Next day is new."
Only a few weeks after arriving in Canada as a refugee, Levon Markarian (centre) found work he intends to do for the rest of his life. He says his new bosses, brothers and factory co-owners Levon Hasserjian (left) and Simon, are “like big brothers, or uncles” to me. (Courtesy of Ara Hasserjian)
For the past ten years, Rex Power Magnetics has worked with COSTI, Toronto's biggest immigrant settlement agency, employing newcomers from around the world — from the Phillippines and Vietnam to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and now from Syria.
"I don't know another company that's come through at this level," says Mario Calla, executive director of COSTI.
The most recent hires are Syrian-Armenians, privately-sponsored by Toronto's close-knit Armenian community which has taken in thousands of refugees.A model for Canadian businesses
For COSTI, the partnership with Rex stands as a model for other Canadian businesses.
"Rex Power is a company that has adapted to the reality of newcomers and it pays off really well for them," says Calla.
Like many of their latest hires, the Hasserjian brothers grew up in Aleppo. Their family were survivors of what Canada and a number of other countries recognize as the Armenian genocide. It's estimated that 1.5 million Armenians, many of whom were marched into the Syrian desert by the government of the former Ottoman Empire, died.
Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide, circa 1915. (Wikipedia Commons)
Some survivors made it to Aleppo, a city Simon recalls as a welcoming, tolerant place.
"I remember the churches were next to the mosques. On religious holidays, when it was a Christian holiday, all the Muslim shopkeepers would close their shops and vice-versa."'We never looked at them as refugees'
Half a kilometre away was a refugee camp filled with Armenian children. The Hasserjian family had their own house but the brothers often visited their playmates in the refugee camp.
"We never looked at them as refugees," adds brother Levon. "Just people that lived in poorer conditions."
For the Hasserjian family, education was a priority. Entry into Syrian universities was expensive and restricted so when Simon was 19, and Levon only 16, their parents sent them to Canada to join their older sister in Toronto. Both brothers studied engineering at the University of Toronto — Simon, electrical engineering, and Levon, mechanical engineering.
Today, the house where they grew up in Aleppo is gone — demolished in the fighting — as are the apartment buildings that housed the Syrian newcomers now working on the factory floor in Vaughan.Chasing more sales
The brothers' goal for 2017 is to chase down another five per cent increase in sales and generate at least another 15 positions for refugees.
"Not just Armenian-Syrians," says Simon. "We'd like to hire other Syrian refugees too" with the right skill set.
Vrej Adjoydan (centre), narrowly escaped Aleppo. His boss, Simon Hasserjian (left), introduces the former graphic designer to the CBC's Mary Wiens at Rex Power Magnetics. (Courtesy of Ara Hasserjian)
As part of the strategy to generate extra jobs, the brothers reduced overtime for their regular workforce.
"Our employees are part of how this company runs," says Levon. "So OK, we'll make changes to accommodate this path of growth and accommodate more employment."
In Aleppo, Vrej Adjoydan was a graphic designer and accountant, while at Rex he works on the line, wrapping coils of aluminum and copper around the steel cores of electrical transformers. Like other Syrian co-workers, he feels lucky to have escaped with his life. The graphic company where he worked was looted by fighters a few days before he escaped. He still carries a sniper's bullet that just missed his head.
Houri Saraidarion, on the other hand, studied electrical engineering in Syria, and at Rex, she landed her first job out of university as an electrical engineer in her chosen field.
Simon, her new boss, says, "even from the first few minutes in the interview, you could tell she was going to be good."
Electrical engineer Houri Saraidarion couldn't believe her good luck landing her first job in Canada, as a refugee, in her chosen profession at Rex Power Magnetics. (Mary Wiens/CBC)
At the plant, workers build electrical transformers to convert energy from one current to another, powering condos, hospitals and factories across North America — an apt metaphor for people whose own lives have been nearly destroyed, transforming the brutal power of war into a new current on a factory floor in Vaughan.
'It's the United Nations here," says Adjoydan. "I have too many friends here. We eat together, we meet together, go to Tim Hortons restaurant, everything."
Posted 01 July 2017 - 09:30 AM
A cross has been reinstalled on the dome of the Armenian St. Gevorg Church in Al-Ghanimeh village in Syria’s Latakia province, Rusarminfo.ru told Panorama.am.
The cross installation ceremony was performed by Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Berio Shahan Archbishop Sargsyan. The villagers, as well as a many Armenians from various districts of Latakia province attended the church ceremony.
Armenian St. Gevorg Church was built in 1875. During the first years of the Syrian crisis, the Armenian populated Al-Ghanimeh village was occupied by terrorist groups and its population was evacuated, with the church subjected to desecration.
The settlement was liberated by the Syrian Army in June 2016.
- Johannes likes this
Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:40 AM
Posted 08 July 2017 - 12:44 PM
Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:38 AM
By Contributor on July 20, 2017
ANKARA, Turkey— In reports published in both Turkish and English, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency published a report that provided details about 10 U.S. bases in northern Syria, including troops count and a map of the U.S. force presence in the Turkish version, reported Bloomberg.
U.S. military vehicles and Kurdish fighters from the YOG drive in the town of Darbasiya, Syria (Photo: Reuters)
The reports said that the military outposts are “usually hidden for security reasons, making it hard to be detected.” It said they were located “in the terrorist PKK/PYD- held Syrian territories,” a reference to Kurdish groups that Turkey’s government considers terrorist organizations.
In recent years, Turkey and the U.S. have been at odds over the U.S. backing of Kurdish fighters in Syria who are affiliated with the separatist movement inside Turkey. The Turkish government probably leaked U.S. troop locations to Anadolu as retaliation, according to Aaron Stein, a fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
“The U.S. takes force protection seriously, obviously,” Stein said by email on July 19. “The Turkish government knows this, and still decided to leak the locations of U.S. bases in Syria.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it conveyed its concern to the Turkish government.
“While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information,” Major Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a Defense Department spokesman, said in an emailed statement. “The release of sensitive military information exposes Coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS.”
Anadolu Agency reporter Levent Tok said that the information on the U.S. troops was based on fieldwork by Anadolu’s Syria reporters and some of the information on bases that had been broadcast on social media by Kurdish fighters.
“The U.S. should have thought about this before it cooperated with a terrorist organization,” he told Bloomberg.
News of the Anadolu story was published earlier on July 19 by the Daily Beast, which also released correspondence with U.S. military officials urging the reporter, Roy Gutman, not to share the information because they said it would expose tactical information and put coalition lives in jeopardy.
This move by Turkey is the most recent strain in relations between Turkey and a major NATO ally. Last week, a senior Turkish official told Bloomberg that Turkey has agreed to purchase a missile defense system. This move could dramatically hurt Turkey’s relations with the Western security bloc. In addition, Germany is in the process of withdrawing from Turkey’s most important NATO base, Incirlik, after Turkey refused to allow a German delegation to visit troops there.
Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:04 AM
ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
September 23, 2017 Saturday
Zhirayr Reisyan: One of the main victories of the Syrian army in
recent years was the city of Deir ez Zor
Yerevan September 23
Ani Mshetsyan. "The liberated Aleppo, and liberated Syria, of course,
are completely different things: in some parts of the country,
fighting is still going on, but the recently liberated city of Deir ez
Zor became a great and significant victory for the Syrian army." On
September 23 at a meeting with journalists, the deputy of the Syrian
parliament Zhirayr Reisyan stated.
According to the deputy, the liberated Deir-ez-Zor is almost as
important as the liberated Aleppo. There, according to Reisyan, in
peacetime also lived a large number of Armenians, who, however, during
military actions were forced to leave, for security reasons. "In some
parts of the city, there are still clashes, but this is a matter of a
few days, and soon the city will be completely free, and I hope that
Armenians can return home," Reisyan said.
"Of course, the situation in Syria has changed significantly compared
to 2012. Now the Syrian army is liberating all the new territories,
but especially important, of course was the liberation of Aleppo in
2016," Reisyan said.
According to the deputy of the Mejlis of Syria, Aleppo suffered more
than all other Syrian cities. However, gradually the city returns to
normal life. During the occupation, many residential quarters, shops,
workers' organizations were erased from the face of the earth.
However, at the moment, the government of Syria is gradually restoring
the destructed. "Of course, there are still a lot of problems in the
city - economic, housing, lack of jobs." However, the most important
problems in Aleppo were the lack of water and electricity, but at the
moment the water supply has been restored, and electricity has been
restored and is sufficient for the basic needs of the residents", the
As Zhirayr Reisyan noted, many Armenians and other inhabitants of
Aleppo are gradually returning from the countries to which they moved.
Including from Armenia, Lebanon, Europe and even countries such as the
US and Canada. "As for roads leading to the city, now almost all of
them are safe and the Syrian army controls them. The main goal of the
government of Syria is now the restoration of the airport, which was
badly damaged during the hostilities, but it has almost been restored,
and the airport will start functioning again," the deputy of the
Syrian Mejlis stressed. The MP also touched upon the losses of
Armenians, during the events in Syria. "We have about 200 victims,
both soldiers of the Syrian army, and among civilians, who died in
bombardments and bombings of the city." 10 people are missing, very
many wounded. "Contented large and material losses - many lost their
business, their own houses, some apartments can not be restored, and
also during the looting that raged during the war, many Armenians lost
all their savings, furniture, jewelry, etc. Such damage, of course,
can not be restored, but the fact that people return to native city
where they can live peacefully is already a huge achievement. I am
sure that soon the city will be finally restored and will begin to
live a full life," concluded Reisyan.
Posted 06 November 2017 - 02:05 PM
The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zor has been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army after years of occupation by Islamic State forces, Al-Masdar News reports.
The agency has shared photos of the memorial released by the Syrian Army.
Prior to its liberation, the memorial had been badly damaged by terrorists groups.
While no immediate plans have been announced by the Syrian government to restore the memorial, it is likely to be renovated during the rebuilding of Deir ez-Zor.
The city of Deir ez-Zor was fully liberated by the Syrian Army last Thursday.
Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:43 AM
Extensive damage to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir Ezzor, Syria, since 2014 can be seen in new footage posted on November 8, after Syrian government forces took control of the city, long an Islamic State stronghold.
Several plaques with Armenian characters written on them can be seen cracked or completely destroyed on the inside of the church. Rubble is piled in the entryways and windows.
The church was a memorial to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1917, in which Armenia claims 1.5 million Armenians were killed at the hands of Turks. However, Turkey does not recognize the genocide term, and said the number was closer to 300,000. The memorial had been a major pilgrimage site, according to the BBC. Tens of thousands of Armenians once lived in Deir Ezzor, and more in other Syrian cities, many whose ancestors fled the killings in the Ottoman Empire across unforgiving desert.
When Islamic State forces took control of the city in 2014, they blew up the Martyrs’ Church, according to Armenian and Syrian news reports. Since then, other culprits have been considered, such as members of the Jabhat-al-Nusra militia in 2014, possibly using Turkish weapons. Credit: Facebook/Sarkis Kassargian via Storyful.
Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:29 AM
Russian sportsman and actor Sergey Badyuk who recently flew to Syria to volunteer as a war journalist on the conflict in the Middle East, has revealed interesting details about Armenians who are also participating in military operations.
"I was struck by a meeting near Hanasser where I spotted a cross on the chest of a radio operator/gunner of an anti-aircraft system," Badyuk said.
"I was amazed. I asked his name to learn that he was Armenian and his name was Raphael. It turned out that practically all operator/gunners and gunsmiths were Armenians there."
"Then I was shooting a plant in Aleppo, which produced mines and ammunition, and all the workers there were also Armenians. The distance between the factory and the line of contact was only a few meters. Can you imagine? And all the local production falls on the shoulders of the Armenian Diaspora," Badyuk added.
Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:22 AM
Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
December 28, 2017 Thursday
Recovering what is destroyed with determination and belief: Jirair
Reisian on losses of Armenian community in Syria
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. Recovering what has been destroyed
with determination and belief: Jirair Reisian– Armenian lawmaker of
Syria's Parliament, told ARMENPRESS talking about the situation in
Aleppo, the recovery process.
2017 was full of difficulties, but also with positive developments.
The Armenian lawmaker attaches importance to the liberation of Aleppo
in December 2016 which gave hope in the context of having expectations
for future positive developments. And so, Deir ez-Zorwas soon
liberated which plays an important role for the Armenian people.
“Yes, the Armenian complex in Deir ez-Zorbecame a target of terrorism
like the other numerous buildings of the city, but we in Aleppo and
elsewhere are determined and full of belief to recover what is
destroyed. In fact we cannot say that the war is completely over, but
there were victories and achievements, and we can state that the
situation in Syria gradually improves”, he said.
Talking about the situation in Aleppo, Jirair Reisiansaid compared to
the previous year the situation was different during 2017. Aleppo was
deprived of electricity for a long time, but today, although not the
whole day, electricity is provided. The water supply is already in
normal process. “There is no water alarm anymore, we hope it will not
repeat again. The military incidents in the city are almost over, they
are reached to minimum. Life has been brought to its normal course. Of
course, there are economic difficulties, but the state and people are
united. We can state that at the moment the recovery stage is
underway. People gradually restore their houses and workshops”, the
Armenian lawmaker said. The Armenian community examined and registered
the Armenian institutions affected and recovers them in phases.
The roads in general are safe. The Armenian life in Aleppo is normally
developing, unions, clubs, culture houses returned to their works, but
Jirair Reisianstates that these structures were also operating during
the difficult times. “The Armenian schools, churches were not closed
during the years of war. Now the Armenian centers, clubs started more
actively operating, especially when the holidays are coming. The
Armenian clubs are active with New Year events”, he said.
As for the movements of the Aleppo residents, the local Armenians
after the city’s liberation, the lawmaker said there are people who
returned to the city, and the return of some people is on process. Our
compatriots, who left Aleppo and moved to other cities of Syria, as
well as those who were living temporarily in Lebanon, Armenia and
different Western countries, now return to the city. The lawmaker
expressed confidence that this number will increase within the course
Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:05 AM
Ever since the restoration of relative calm, Syrian Armenians have started returning to their homes, according to Jirair Reisian, an Armenian member of the Syrian parliament, who spoke to Armenian News-NEWS.am.
He noted that these Armenians have started returning from Lebanon, Armenia, and some Western countries, and that the internally displaced persons also have started coming back to their homes.
But Reisian noted that, first, it is necessary to restore the ruined and the damaged, as well as the huge economic losses to the Syrian Armenian community. He added, however, that Syrian Armenians are able to survive and they have an unbending determination to continue their lives.
The Syrian Armenian MP noted that the Armenian community suffered major material losses during the civil war, plus it had casualties, severely injured, and dozens of missing.
But Jirair Reisian added that some buildings, houses, and shops belonging to Armenians are being restored. He said the damaged structures have been studied, the repair plans for the most of them are developed, and these works will be carried out considering the priorities.
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