Rebels attacked the town of Kesab in northwest Syria, home to a community of Armenian Christians. The attack is a chilling reminder of the 1915 genocide among the global Armenian community, which has taken to social media in protest.Kasab is located in Latakia province, an Assad stronghold and the site of a recent conflict between government and rebel forces. The LA Times reports:
Many residents of the town have since fled, like their ancestors who survived the genocide of the early 20th century, joining the legions of Syrians displaced by the war. The United Nations says about 1,550 displaced families from Kasab are receiving aid in the city of Latakia, which is under Syrian government control.The large-scale rebel strike appeared to catch the thinly stretched Syrian military off guard, though the government says its forces have won back terrain in a punishing counterattack close to the porous border. Fierce fighting continued Thursday, both sides said. An opposition monitoring group has reported more than 300 fighters killed, including rebels and loyalists, while pro-government activists have said that more than 1,000 rebels have been killed in almost two weeks of clashes.
The rebels have been brutal to Syria’s Christians (some of whom support Assad), ransacking churches and kidnapping nuns and clergymen. Much of the Western media has remained strangely silent about the ongoing persecution Christians have suffered during the war. Perhaps the outcry among the worldwide Armenian community will provoke some long-overdue consideration of their plight.