Feb 14, 2020 06:59 UTC
  • Syrian parliament recognizes Armenian genocide amid Ankara-Damascus tensions

The Syrian parliament has overwhelmingly recognized the mass killings of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire that took place a century ago, as tensions run high between Damascus and Ankara over the latter’s military campaign in Syria’s embattled Northwestern Province of Idlib.

The legislature said in a statement released on Thursday “The parliament... condemns and recognizes the genocide committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman government at the start of the twentieth century.”

According to Press TV quoting Syria’s official news agency SANA, the People's Council approved the motion without a single vote against it, describing the genocide as “one of the most atrocious crimes against humanity.”

The lawmakers also called on the international community to condemn the mass killings of Armenians as well.

Meanwhile, Syrian Parliament Speaker, Hammouda Sabbagh, said the Syrian people were facing Turkey’s hostility based on the outrageous Ottoman ideology, pointing out that the Syrian people know exactly this kind of racial crimes as they have been exposed to the same brutal terrorism by the same criminal mindset.

He called on the international community to shoulder its humanitarian, ethical and political responsibility in recognizing this crime, and not to deny it while strongly condemning it.

Armenia says 1.5 million were killed under the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of modern-day Turkey, from 1915 to 1917, and that the mass killings were an effort to wipe out the Christian ethnic group and thus amount to genocide.  

Turkey, in return, puts the number far lower and adamantly rejects the term genocide, saying that Turks also died in what it considers fighting as part of World War I.