|Re: Genocide part 10|
- Wednesday, December 26 2007, 20:27:57 (CET)|
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Assyrian in 1916
The autumn of the Russians began calling on the Assyrians to arm themselves and to provide them with military training in order to use them in the the attacks they had planned for 1916. The Russians, Assyrians and Armenians initiated a cleansing operation against the Muslims in order to make room in eastern Hakarri for the Armenia in the future. Agha Potrus, the leader of the Assyrians was a "murderer", "a blackmailer" and an international bandit of the swindler type(Longrigg's description, p138). The Kurds led by Sayid Taha, defended themselvesaround Pemdinli, but they failed. Shemidan district, where the Nestorian "matran" lived, and Rawandus, were captured by the Russians on April 16 with the assistance of the Assyrians and the Armenians. 5 thousand Kurds, mostly women, children and elderly people were killed outside the city(Mason, p329). While visiting the region in 1919, British major Mason was infromed that only 157 Kurdish families out of the 1000 had been left from before the war and 52 out of 81 Kurdish villages had been burned.
In a report sent by a British officer to the British foreign ministry in 1919 after having visited the region in January, "According to almost the universal testimonies of the local inhabitants and eye witnesses, Russians, acting on the instigation advice of the Armenians and Nestorians who accompanied them... murdered and butchered indiscriminantlely any Moslem member of the civil population who fell in their hands. a traveler through the Rawandus and Neri district would find widspread wholesale of evidence of outrages committed by Christians on Moslems. Anything more thorough and complete would be difficult to imagine(Sonyel p415).
Within that period, 300 Jewish inhabitants of the Gawar district were also murdered by Christian powers(Schemsi p63).
During the war, 60% of the Muslim population of Van, namely 110 thousand people had died(Mccarthy).
All through the years 1916/17, Assyrians fought shoulder to shoulder with the Russians. The Ottoman army had no chance except defend themselves. Although they were able to repulse the French and the British assualuts in Gallipoli, they suffered great casualties. The Arabs of Hejaz revolted as well with the support of the British.
The Russians captured Erzurum, Bitlis, Trabzon and Erzincan respectivaly. In June, the Russians were expelled from Khanikin and Hamadan near Baghdad. The Russian troops in Rawandus, and Neri had to withdraw. Mustafa Ataturk got Bitlis back on August 5.
1916 and 1917 were very quiet for the Assyrian civilans living in the plains of Azerbijan.
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