Prelate Calls for Urgent Support for Kessab


We continue to closely follow the escalating crisis in Syria, particularly in Kessab which a week ago came under attack by rebels from the Turkish border.  Soon after the incursion, Kessab was emptied as residents were forced to flee for their lives.  Kessab Armenians have sought refuge at St. Mary Church in Latakia, where they are receiving shelter and assistance from local officials and organizations.

Kessab2In light of these developments, throughout the past week religious and community leaders have been in constant communications to discuss means of support for Kessab.

In this respect, on the night of Wednesday, March 26, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and ARF Western U.S. Central Committee Chair Dr. Viken Hovsepian traveled to Washington, D.C. where on Thursday they joined the ANCA and a delegation of community leaders and members for meetings with State Department officials, calling on them to condemn the attacks on Kessab and Turkish involvement, demand withdrawal of the rebels and the safe return of residents to their homes, provide assurance for the ongoing protection of the area and humanitarian assistance to the displaced residents, demand Turkey secure its border and stop supplying arms to rebels.  Earlier in the day, the Prelate and Dr. Hovsepian met with Armenian Ambassador Tatoul Markarian.

By the ordinance of the Prelate, on Sunday, March 22nd, “Der Voghormya” prayers were offered in Prelacy Churches for Kessab and for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict.

On Sunday, March 30th, there will be a special collection plate in Prelacy Churches to raise funds for the basic needs of the refugees of Kessab, including food, shelter, clothing, and medical supplies.

The Prelate hereby calls on our community to lend their utmost support to relief efforts for our Kessab brothers and sisters, who were forced to leave behind their homes and belongings with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and are now in dire need of any and all assistance as they struggle to cope with the current situation.  Through the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund, together we can alleviate the extreme hardship facing our beloved brethren of Kessab.

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