|Re: Genocide part 11|
- Wednesday, December 26 2007, 21:00:34 (CET)|
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1918 Assyrians defeated
The Russian revolution took place in 1917. The Russian army was ordered to withdraw from Iran in 1917. The Russian army while withdrawing set the market in Urmiya on fire and plundered the town. The Assyrian troops deserted the Ottoman territories and arrived in Urmiya. Several officers who did not want to commit themselves to the revolutionary Russian leadership stayed in Urmiya and trained the Assyrian troops. With their help, an Armenian unit of 1 thousand troops and an Assyrian unit of 3 thousand troops from Hakarri and a unit of local Assyrians and Chaldeans were trained(Larcher p454). The Christians equipped themselves with the weapons the Russians left behind. A Christian committee named "mutwa" took over the leadership of Urmiya. Dr Sheds, the chief of the American mission was supporting them(Nikitine:Urmiya). The Assyrians slaughtered the Azeris in the region and intimidated the rest(Larcher p454).
The British who had lost the support of the Russian support in Iran were trying to fill the authority of vacuum by supporting the Assyrians. Several French and British officers were sent from Tiblisi to the region to train the Assyrian troops. Simko was taken prisoner by the Russians for a while and then remaine impartial. Benjamin Shimun formed an alliance with Simko with the initiative of the British. When the Russians left Iran, Simko was able to obtain their light and heavy weapons.
Simko united with the Assyrians. The local Azeris felt anxious about the alliance since they had been living under the terror of the Assyrians from Hakarri for 2 years. The ineffective official authorities made a a useless intiative to take the weapons of the Assyrians. On the controray, the Assyrians attacked the Moslems in Urmiya on February 22, 1918, and carried out a mass slaughter.
It is obvious that the Assyrians in Urmiya were making a future for themselves. On Feb 25, Simko met with the Patriarch in Kohneh. After apparently a peaceful meeting, Simko shot and killed the patriarch. The Kurds immediately killed 140 people accompanieing the patriarch. Only a few including the brother of the patriarch survived and escaped. Simko withdrew his forces to his headquarters.
Several sources cite that Simko killed patriarch Benjamin Shimun with the instigation of Mukhti Sham, the governor of Tabriz. Iran and Simko may have wanted to purify Urmiya from the Assyrians. While Simko wanted an independent state in western Azerbijan, the official Iranian administration desired to establish its authority in the region.
The Assyrians having heard the murder of Patriarch, killed hundreds of Azeri civilians in the town and burbned their homes. They sent 3000 people to Kohneh and slaughtered the Azeris there. The group which attacked Dilman returned to Urmiya when they failed to capture the town(Arfa, The Kurds p53 f).
Paulus, the brother of Shimun became patriarch.
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