Turkey Airstrikes Target Christians Killing Dozen in Syria, Iraq

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) – A dozen people were killed in recent months as Turkey increased airstrikes as part of an alleged “anti-terrorist military campaign” in Syria and Iraq targeting Christians and other minorities, rights investigators say.

Amid heavy bombardments, Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds have fled “in droves” from Turkish-occupied areas of Syria, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Turkish attacks began in late August 2021 and included bombing a hospital, noted Barnabas Fund, a well-informed Christian charity working in the region. Worthy News obtained footage of homes destroyed in the Assyrian Christian village of Tel Tawil in Syria’s Tel Tamer district.

It is unclear why Turkish forces specifically target Christian, Kurdish and Yazidi minorities in Iraq and Syria. However, “The displacement of Christians in Syria by Turkish bombing has drawn comparisons with the Ottoman Empire and Islamic State,” Barnabas Fund commented.

Critics say the attacks come as Turkey, a mainly Muslim nation, attempts to expand its territory. At the same time, the world is distracted by the tensions in Afghanistan following that country’s takeover by the Islamist Taliban group, analysts suggest.

Turkey claims to fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group designated a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, the United States, and the European Union. However, Turkey’s military also combats groups it alleges are affiliated with the PKK.


“The operations in Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan, however, have indiscriminately targeted Christian communities and other civilian communities,” Barnabas Fund told Worthy News.

“These minority groups are those who have already suffered oppression, persecution, and death at the hands of Islamic State,”
the group stressed.

Scholars also claim that Turkey, a heavily Muslim nation, seeks to expand its territory into nearby Syria and Iraq.
Mordechai Kedar, an expert on Middle East politics, also claimed that Turkey facilitated the operations of Islamic Stats, also known as ISIS. “The ability of ISIS to become a functioning state so quickly is largely due to its relationship with President Erdoğan in Turkey,” said Kemar in comments published by Barnabas Fund.

“Not only did President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan never launch any counterterror operations to disrupt ISIS’s networks or recruitment
activities, he provided it with assistance.”

In August 2021, Elias Antar Elias, the Assyrian People’s Assembly head in the Jazira region of northeast Syria, expressed concern. He said the “recent attacks on our villages brought back to our memory Safar Barlick in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire targeted us. Now, here in Syria, history is repeating itself.”


“Those who attack our villages are no different from ISIS because they are displacing us and destroying our villages,” Elias added.

Turkey’s President Erdoğan is increasingly open about his ambitions to spread Turkish Islamic influence as if to re-establish the Ottoman Empire, Barnabas Fund claimed.

“In summer 2020, Erdoğan ordered two historical buildings in Istanbul – Hagia Sophia and The Church of the Holy Saviour to be turned back into mosques, the charity recalled. These were “originally Christian churches, then mosques, and later museums,” Barnabas Fund explained.

In a speech at Hagia Sophia in July 2020, Erdoğan reportedly said that “the conquest of Istanbul and the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque are among the most glorious chapters in Turkish history.”

He cited the words of a twentieth-century Turkish poet saying, “This will be Hagia Sophia, this will be a second conquest, the new resurrection. This is definite. These days are close. Maybe tomorrow, maybe sooner than tomorrow.”

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