Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ISIS Destroys Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor

DER ZOR, Syria (A.W.)—The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, Syria—considered the Auschwitz of the Armenian Genocide—news agencies in the Middle East reported.
Armenians commemorating the genocide at the Memorial Church on April 24, 2004. (Photo by Studio Ashnag)
Armenians commemorating the genocide at the Memorial Church on April 24, 2004. (Photo by Studio Ashnag)
The reports surfaced as Armenia was celebrating the 23rd anniversary of its independence on Sept. 21.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a statement condemning the destruction of the church, which housed the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide, calling it a “horrible barbarity.”
Nalbandian called on the international community to cut the Islamic State’s sources of supply, support, and financing, and eradicate what it referred to as a disease that “threatened civilized mankind.”
The church was built in 1989-90, and consecrated a year later. A genocide memorial and a museum housing remains of the victims of the genocide was also built in the church compound.
Thousands of Armenians from Syria and neighboring countries gathered at the memorial every year on April 24 to commemorate the genocide.
Hundreds of thousands of Armenians perished in Der Zor and the surrounding desert during the genocide. In the summer of 1916 alone, more than 200,000 Armenians, mostly women and children, were brutally massacred by Ottoman Turkish gendarmes and bands from the region.
Commemorating the genocide at the Memorial Church in Der Zor. (Photo by Studio Ashnag)
Commemorating the genocide at the Memorial Church in Der Zor. (Photo by Studio Ashnag)

72 Comments on ISIS Destroys Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor

  1. avatar Hovik Nersessian // September 21, 2014 at 11:31 pm // Reply
    …When such organizations announce themselves as “religious” and do such inhuman acts against religous concepts, I suppose they are absolutely unaware of least human concepts, even if they supposedly should have been human beings…I suppose!
    • The thing is my friend, that they are religious, and they do what “their religion” commands them to do.
  2. Fathomable… sadly.
    Egregious and unconscionable to be sure.
    What is Turkey’s hand in this?
    (Rhetorical question)
    Just sad.
  3. avatar Hagop Hagopian // September 22, 2014 at 12:17 am // Reply
    The blood of these monsters shall pour like the river Nile .. Who ever that supports this group shall die like rats in a fish tank full of snake heads.
  4. avatar connie kasparian // September 22, 2014 at 12:42 am // Reply
    im so sad to hear of the destruction issis has to be stopped..
  5. Absolute monsters and a menace to civilization! Time that the world stops ISIS in their tracks and makes an example of how such uncivilized behavior will not be tolerated.
  6. No doubt, Turkey’s hand in it, as was in Kessab.
  7. This church was in an area controlled by IS for a long time so, why did they destroy it now, two days after they released Turkish hostages? Was part of the deal to release the hostages or are they trying to please Turkey?
    This is related to Turkey one way or another. The only Church ISIS destroys is the one with Genocide museum and the one that houses the remains of Genocide victims. The government of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora must raise hell. Everyone is watching if we let this go like all other events it will be an indicator to actors that Armenians will not care about what happens on April 24, 1915
    • Do Armenians care what happened on April 24, 1915? If they(we) would, then they(we) would never forget or forgive acts like
      1) Distructions in Nakhijevan
      2) every soldier and civil death in Armenia and Artsakh
      3) Killings in Kesab
      4) Destruction of Armenian churches and graves in Georgia
      5) Killing of Gurgen Margaryan in Europe
      6) All falsifications of Armenian history and language
      7) etc……………..
      So …
    • Rest-assured the Turkish leadership is behind this attack. Its finger prints are all over it. The Turks are very tricky people, like opportunistic hyenas, and they seem to conduct their criminal activities best in an atmosphere of lawlessness and chaos and under the cover of war so as not to leave any trace of their involvement.
      It is no coincidence that this particular Armenian Church and Genocide Memorial in Der-Zor was targeted. It is a reminder to the Turks of their past criminal activities and genocide, which like the French guillotine is hanging on the back of their necks, and it is geographically closest to the Turkish border. The destruction of this Genocide Memorial Church is the Turkish way of getting rid of evidence so close to home.
      As the criminal and opportunistic Turkish leaders have used our enemy next door, in a conflict (Artsakh) that has nothing to do with them, to score political points through illegal border closings and to punish the Armenians for their pursuit of the worldwide Armenian Genocide recognition, they are now using ISIS (which they funded and armed) to destroy the symbols of the very crime they are accused of and are trying very hard to distance themselves from.
  8. Well- what would one expect from satanic morons- it is kill or get killed-do we not learn from mistakes and history- they are cowards and the crap of the earth that needs to be squashed-
  9. We are not surprised. We know them and their religion.
  10. It remains to be seen whether ISIS is a false flag operation with the cooperation of the US, Turkey and Israel. Nevertheless, the time for prayer is long past us. Miyayn zenkov gah Hayots purgoutiun.
  11. To what extent have US, Turkish, and Israeli policies contributed to the rise of ISIS?
    The invasion of Iraq by the US, and subsequent disorder, are also partly to blame, and we know the people in the US government who brought THAT about.
  12. Unspeakable horror… re-enacting of the horrors. Prayers … and wise and reasoned appropriate action. God help and strengthen us. Let us awaken.
  13. avatar Nubar Zohrabian // September 22, 2014 at 9:20 am // Reply
    With this Cancerous Idiology They Commited Armenian Genocid.
    And this Cancer will spread and repeat itself every now and then unless they take out the Idiologies of distructio and beheading from their BOOKS and BURN THEM; and stop teaching them in AL-Azhar, Mosques and Madrassas.
  14. Either the Arab states are so weak militarily that they can’t take on a bunch of rag-tag extremists such as ISIS, or something else is going on.
    It makes you wonder.
    • Arab states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia were financing ISIS. They want no Shia state in Irak and no Alevi state in Syria. Instead,they want Sunni rule in those two countries.
  15. avatar Lynda Donigian Marsland // September 22, 2014 at 9:47 am // Reply
    I was talking to a turkish man a few months ago. Who lives in the US. it’s a very sore subject to talk about, But I did. He said that the Turks want to cut off all funding of any Armenian welfare. Which probably this Monument might be one of them? I don’t know.
  16. avatar Kevork Hagopian // September 22, 2014 at 9:48 am // Reply
    To all Armenians, stand up and rise for your rights. Send a group of volunteers to destroy the ISIS right away. If we don’t act now it will be too late.
    • {“Send a group of volunteers to destroy the ISIS right away.”}
      As soon as _you_ volunteer, there will be 1000s right behind you.
      {“If we don’t act now it will be too late.”}
      Since you would be part of ‘we’, please act now yourself: others will act as soon as you do.
    • It has been too late for the last 200 years.
  17. This outrage MUST be Publicised WIDELY and Aggressively on all Media; social, internet and print.
    This event will throw a spotlight on the Tragic history of Christians in this area and make clear that the conflict in this region and the violence and hatred aimed at Christians, Armenians and Assyrians is but an echo and last stage of that which was perpetrated against NATIVE Christians beginning in 1898-1922.
    This can be used to EDUCATE and MOTIVATE Westerners, their media and public to act RESPONSIBLY and MORALLY this Time and in the future.
    Want to not repeat these tragedies?
    CALL THE EDITORS OF the Media you use and tell them to cover this tragedy and its repercussions.
  18. This whole ISIS problem was organized by the USA, UK, France, Turkey and Israel who are conducting the whole terrorist scenario in the Middle East. Most of these terrorists are coming to Syria and Iraq from Turkey. Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyEJ6Aja-UQ
  19. avatar Vehanoush Tekian // September 22, 2014 at 10:36 am // Reply
    This is genocide of the Genocide. Those bones, samples of earth and the ringing silence were ‘alive’!
    I was there some years ago. Gathered some bone fragments. Two candles unlit from the church. It was a most moving pilgrimage with no possibility of catharsis….
  20. is it not time to unite as one around the world. not many political parties, but one.
    what are we waiting for. the french president charles de gaulle once said,’l’union fait la force’, roughly translated… ‘unity is power’
    so what are we waiting for. there’s only about 10 million of us left.
    • We can’t even have two Armenians agree on anything, let alone a whole cluster. The truth is that Armenians are inherently selfish. What has become of us is the best proof.
    • Who is this ‘we’ you are referring to Turkoglu ?
      Got tired spreading your Anti-Armenian Turkophile disinformation @Asbarez, so decided to try your luck @AW ?
      Welcome: myself and likeminded posters will debunk your Turkophile propaganda with pleasure.
      Indeed, what has become of us, Armenians, is proof that we agree on and work together to achieve a lot of great things.
      For example, Armenians from all over the world, and primarily Artsakh and RoA, united to crush your invadonomad Turkbaijani kin and their radical Islamist terrorist supporters.
      We, Armenians, now have two little miracle Gampr pups in Caucasus, growing stronger every year.
      That’s what we have become, Turkoglu ‘Hratch’.
  21. avatar blueskybigstar // September 22, 2014 at 11:35 am // Reply
    NSA documents revealed by Snowden show that America and Israel are behind ISIS’s creation, funding, training, and arming. Wikileaks and other articles reveal that Turkey has been giving them medical care.
    • I’m sorry but you are totally misinformed. Such documents don’t exist and needless to say Snowden did not reveal them therefore… Think logically please.
    • Most of the US people the citizens hate Turkey and Israel and Turkey are once again enemies
  22. This was bound to happen when Catholicos Aram I openly announced, during his meeting with Obama last week, that Armenians were part of the coalition against ISIS.
  23. This is undoubtedly act 2 of the invasion of Kessab, compliments of Turkey as a gift for Armenia’s independence day and before the Genocide centennial. The relationship between ISIS and Turkey is very obvious, as there are even many Turks in ISIS, and those so-called 49 “hostages” were all a premeditated plan by the Turkish government itself, even if the “hostages” did not know it. Yet the despicable neocons in the US continue to bark that “Turkey is an ally”.
  24. Enough is enough.
    The Armenian government must ask the U.N.securiry Council to adopt a resolution to;
    1. Condemn the attack.
    2. Ask to rebuild the monument and museum
    3. Put boots on the ground to irradiate ISIS.
    4. Since Turkey is aiding ISIS to do its diety work,Turkey must be held reaponsible.
    Thanks for your attention.
    • avatar travellinpat // September 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm //
      Ummm… I think you meant eradicate? Not irradiate? Though both seem like a good idea…
      Amen to doing this through the U.N. It’s darned hard to deal rationally with irrational people. And I see a lot of irrational responses above.
  25. IS destroys everything and anything that does not agree with it’s order.
    ‘Praying’ to bones under the glass is definitely out.
    They don’t allow anything even cemetery stones.
  26. avatar ELI ARSLANIAN // September 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm // Reply
  27. If the United States gave Armenia 1 nuclear missile for each Armenian that died by Islamic hands, the Islamic world would never threaten Armenians again!
  28. United States won’t ever give up being an ally with turkey because of the strategic placement of some of US nuclear bombs in turkey. they would rather not have turkey acknowledged the genocide so the US has a greater reach with there arsenal
  29. Nobody cares. Armenians don’t care, my friends don’t care , the world doesn’t care. We have become desensitized to violence and now simply ignore it. I certainly care but everyone else does not. I post and repost and hardly ever get responses.
  30. I have absolutely NO doubt that Turkish leadership is behind this attack and here is why I came to this conclusion:
    1. ISIS fighters were funded, armed and given safe passage into Syria through Turkish-Syrian border with full knowledge of the Turkish government.
    2. Several thousand of ISIS members and foot soldiers either volunteered or were recruited from Turkey.
    3. The three captured western hostages, two Americans and one British, were executed (beheaded) and with utmost brutality for the world to see but the so-called 49 Turkish hostages were unharmed.
    4. The Turkish hostages were given access to cell phones which they used to call their loved ones back home. It takes no brain surgeon to know that phone calls can be traced and by granting Turkish hostages access to cell phones, ISIS was compromising its own security.
    5. Turkey refused to cooperate with the United States, France, Britain and others to engage and confront ISIS under false pretenses.
    6. All Turkish hostages were released unharmed and returned to Turkey and displayed and paraded in front of the unsuspecting Turkish public by the Turkish leaders like trophies to claim fame as heroes and their saviors.
    7. Turkey refuses to share the details of the Turkish hostage crisis and the reasons why only Turkish hostages were let go unscathed while all the others were murdered in cold-blood.
    8. The Turkish hostage crisis took place in Mosul in northern Iraq far from Turkey and released uneventfully and the Armenian Church and Genocide memorial destruction in Der-Zor, with farthest proximity to ISIS activities but with closest proximity to Turkey, coincided with the release of the Turkish hostages.
    9. Need I say more?
    Now, you do the math and come to your own conclusions. I did and all the reasons for this sudden, unexpected and seemingly “random” attack point to Turkey. Also, take into account the significance of this particular Church and Genocide Memorial to both Armenians and the Turks, the initial attack by ISIS on mainly Armenian-populated town of Kessab on the Turkish border, the frozen conflict in the region and Turkish covert involvement in it on the side of our enemy and the Armenian Genocide centennial commemoration around the corner.
    I strongly believe the Turkish hostage crisis by ISIS was staged with full knowledge of both sides and Turkey’s hands are bloody as always. The Turkish leaders must not be let go unpunished and must be made to pay a heavy price for their crimes against humanity.
  31. Turkey and ISIS are working hand in hand. No Doubt about it. Turkey may be part of NATO but, it not a true ally. At some point down the road the United States will go out to war with Turkey.
  32. We must see the broader issue.
    If Hitler had trampled an Armenian Church in Austria, or Czechoslovakia, would our focus be just on the Church, or on all mankind he threatened to kill or enslave? If Hitler allowed our hypothetical Church to be left alone, would we turn a blind eye?
    ISIS is today’s episode of a recurring modern nightmare: men with arms eager to kill innocent men, women and children. They must be opposed by an armed and aggressive mankind as ruthless as they are. Unfortunately many regional governments see some advantage in allowing them to kill their opponents in the false belief that ISIS will not eventually kill them too.
    They will join with their friends in Pak. to get nukes. Then we will have a first class crisis making every other one since the Black Death look quaint.
  33. I completely agree that Turkey must be held accountable for aiding ISIS. The U.S. really needs to wake and smell the proverbial coffee when it comes to Turkey. That country is not a friend to the U.S. That country not only aids terrorists, but denies the first genocide of the 20th century.
  34. Buildings could be repaired, considering the damage to the country of Syria at least no be headings to our people we should keep our cool and make our priority to rebuild to what we are known for as builders and not destroyers
  35. Is it possible they got the idea from the events in Constantinople the night of 6-7 September, 1955???
  36. the hostage ordeal with the turkish government and isis was,give us back our 45 hostages in return ,we will give you 48 kurdish villages in northern syria plus you have to destroy the armenian church in der el zor
  37. avatar Dottie Bengoian // September 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm // Reply
    Disgusting and tragic. The Turks are at it again – never mind what group carries them out, the Turks are always behind these monstrous crimes.
  38. I think it is time to conduct a modern version of the post WWI Operation Nemesis and do some major cleanup. The region has a foul Turkish odor in the air once again.
  39. avatar Mary (Azarigian) Omartian // September 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm // Reply
    The madness continues for Armenians, world-wide. Destroying yet another Armenian church. Doesn’t the outside world see and care? When does it end? Keeping in mind and prayer all who are suffering, particularly in the Middle East.
  40. avatar Viken Evereklian // September 22, 2014 at 11:31 pm // Reply
    One should not blame the rabid dogs who perpetrated this act.The blame should rightfully be ascribed to those who insist on building such edifices in the lands of rabid dogs.What were our pseudo-leaders thinking when they spent precious resources erecting memorials to Genocide victims in the lands of rabid dogs?What audience or constituency were they trying to impress (aside from the rabid dogs inhabiting those areas of course)?Coming on the heels of a Genocide that nearly wiped out our nation and left thousands of churches in ruins,the mad dash to build more such churches in the lands of rabid dogs was either criminally irresponsible or a symptom of mental retardation on the part of our so-called leaders.May God have mercy on our tortured nation and grant us leaders worthy of leadership and blessed with the wisdom to invest where it matters for the long run.
  41. ISIS is killing 100 years ago killed 1.5 million innocent Armenians once again. Is this the Islamic religion.? No way. I use to leave in Egypt and I know them as nice and kind people. Who’s signature is under this barbarian act? This is a big shame to the humanity.
  42. I am a US army veteran who sees no better use for our military right now than the complete destruction of ISIL. We certainly have the might to do what is clearly right. Unfortunately, the cavalier use of our armed forces to invade Iraq caused needless loss of life and created massive debt. Now, when there is a genuine need for US military presence in Iraq/Syria, many Americans have misgivings. My question is if obliterating a group like ISIL is not justifiable, what is?
  43. @Avery: You are so typical. Always suspicious, coming to conclusions, and accusing anyone not following your failed policies as a Turk. I’ll let you know I’m more Armenian than you can ever imagine to be. If you cut me up I’ll bleed Garmir, Gaboud, Narinchakoun!
    The problem with people like you is that you do not accept reality. There is a reason why we have been destroyed and are now reduced to begging others for help. These things just don’t happen overnight. We’ve been on the path of extinction for the last 200 years. So, instead of living in lalaland, I suggest you reexamine your priorities and start doing something constructive with your time. To begin, you can read Garen Yegparian’s article on how things really are in Armenia today.
  44. The Azeris destroyed our cultural traces and history from Nakhichevan, and besides complain, what did we do? Nothing.
    For the past 20 years Artsakh soldiers have been getting murdered by Azeri aggression in a supposed cease-fire, and what did we do to stop it once and for all? Nothing.
    Turkey and Azerbaijan continually steal Armenia’s history and culture and get the backing and recognition from UNESCO and what do we do about it? Nothing.
    Foreign elements imposed the protocols on Armenia to harm Armenian interests and what did we do about it? Nothing.
    Each year the liars in the American government on their promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide fail to recognize it and what do we do? Nothing.
    Israel and its US operatives continually sabotage the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and have no business meddling in the war between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, but next provide weapons to Azerbaijan to bring harm on Artsakh and what do we do about it? Nothing.
    Turkey caused the destruction of Kessab and set back the progress of Armenians there by 50 years and what did we do? Nothing.
    Azeri and Turk terrorist jihadists went to Aleppo, Syria for the specific reason to hunt and harm Armenians, and what did we do? Nothing.
    Now ISIS, under orders from Turkey destroys the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, and what WILL we do about it? NOTHING.
    In the future with more acts of aggression and incidents by our enemies, my prediction is again we will do nothing.
    There must be an Armenian how-to bible out there which we have apparently been following for thousands of years which states that we can only act to defend ourselves when we are attacked. That’s a fairly honorable philosophy, but I suppose that’s also the reason why we have 90% of our lands lost and under occupation, and most of us dispersed around the world.
  45. avatar G. Hovanessian // September 23, 2014 at 7:56 am // Reply
    When it was becoming increasingly clear that the US and the west would finally have to do something about IS, I started to wonder as to what Turkey, as a “good & trustworthy” ally of the west would do when it was inevitably asked to help fight these barbaric islamists. How fortunate for Turkey that it’s hands were tied & could do nothing because IS had 49 Turkish hostages; problem solved. Like a lot of your readers,I too am sure that Turkey is aiding & abetting & is playing a major role in this current conflict, and, as a bi product doing whatever it can to hurt & displace Armenians & thwart the Armenian cause in any way possible.
  46. Let us show the world annd the turks that we still exist, let us commemorate the memories of our grandparents by uniting all over the world and declare April 24th a day of feeding or giving to the poor all over the the world, organize a program in each city, town or neighborhood.. When we help the community that we belong, then we can spread tne word the atrocities that was done to our people.
  47. Excellent analysis and conclusions by [Ararat].
    Also agree with [Krikor] and [Hagop D].
    Overwhelming evidence Turks are behind each and every Anti-Armenian act in Syria and elsewhere in Middle East.
    My thinking was that the ‘hostage’ incident was manufactured by Turkish leadership to give them the excuse to invade and grab some oilfields around Mosul in the convenient chaos they helped create (….by massively supporting and nurturing ISIL/ISIS/IS).
    One thing Turks desperately need is hydrocarbon sources under their own control.
    Anyone who thinks Turks would not possibly endanger their own diplomatic personnel to steal more of somebody else’s property, let us recall.
    A while back FM Davutoglu, MIT chief Hakan Fidan, and some other Turkish leaders were secretly* tape recorded discussing manufacturing an attack on their own Turkish soldiers guarding a Turkish tomb inside Syria, to give them the excuse to invade Syria and steal more land.
    It is interesting that afterwards Davutoglu did not deny the criminal act they were planning, but instead they went into a hysterics about being ‘betrayed’.
    Something went wrong with ‘hostages’ project, it got away from the Turks, so they decided to wrap it up: ‘hostages’ heroically ‘rescued’ by the heroic efforts of Turkish intelligence.
    * an interesting side story is what entity had the ability and the technical means to penetrate and record such a high level meeting of Turk leaders.
    • Avery that’s just how the world works man. A politician who doesn’t do ALL he can to better he’s country is a traitor.
      I’m also sorry for the church. Next time you build something of importance though pick your location more carefully.
    • I wonder, for how many more years US will call Turkey as an ally ??
    • All these years of attacks on the Armenians and seems they are always caught unarmed and executed Armenians must stay armed in order to protect themselves no matter where they are
  48. Powerful words from a former muslim. Worth watching the full 8 minutes of the following video, to understand where these people are coming from:

  49. If we think that the Genocide Monument destruction on The Armenia Independence day by orders from Turkey is just a coincidence, then we are so naïve.
    The message is so clear: It is a clear threat and a warning by Turkey to Armenia and it’s independence, if tarnishing of Turkey’s image internationally continues by the ongoing worldwide activities of Armenians for the Recognition of 1915 Genocide. It is crystal clear, the attack on Kessab and destruction of the Der Zor monument, are proactive counter attacks response by Turkey to the 100th Anniversary Genocide activities .