|Re: Genocide part 12|
- Wednesday, December 26 2007, 21:58:42 (CET)|
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A peace treaty was signed between the Ottoman empire and the Soviet Russia in Brest Litovsk on March 3. The Russians were to evacuate the the Eastern Anatolia region within 6-8 weeks. The Russians were supposed to take the weapons from the Armenian guerrillas and control regions were they deserted until Ottoman army arrived. However, Russiaans withdrew from the regions were they occupied before the Ottoman army arived and therefore violated the treaty, and these regions were left to the disposal of the Armenians.
The Ottomans took back Van on April 7, Approximately 20 thousand Armenians took shelter in Urmiya, which was already in grave situation. John Joseph the chaos in the region as follows.
"During this period Christian brigands terrorized Christians as well as Muslims, but especially the latter. A missionary described this period a reign of terror for the Muslims hard to imagine(Joseph p 141).
On the 14th of April, the Ottoman army crossed into former Russian border and arrived at Kars on the 25th. The were chasing the Armenian units. The fundamental aim was to get hold of the Baku oil reserves. In early June, the 4th, Ottoman army consisting of 3 battalions manned by 15 thousand infantry privates, ebtered Azerbijan through Kotur passage(Pomiankowski p365, Larcher p455).
The British units of Baghdad were a 100 km away from Mosul. They were encouraging the Armenians to go to Azerbijan to join the Assyrians. The Armenians reached at Koi but could not conquer the city. Upon the arrival of the 4th Ottoman army, Armenians withdrew to Yerevan. Meanwhile, Agha Potrus withdrew to Urmiya when he heard the Ottoman army was coming and that the Armenians withdrew to the north.
By July 24th, the 4th army conquered Koi, Dilman and Tabriz. At the north of Urmiya, however, they faced hard resistense of the Assyrian and Armenian forces. At the north, they were also facing the threat of the Armenian forces which had previously withdrawn from the region.
It was obvious that the Christian forces would not survive at the front without receiving external assistance. The ammunition shortage was increasing. In the spring of 1918, Baghdad send to the reguion a small military unity under the command of General Dunsterville with the aim of organizing a resistance against the Ottomans and protecting the Baku oil reserves.
The Christians flying out of Urmiya congregated at the Kurdish region of Sausdjbulak. They plundered all the places they passed through and killed all the Muslims on the flight to the south(Karlson 29). All the enemies had been killed without discrimination of sex or age. On the 12th of the same month the pro Ottoman governor of Tabriz sent an Iranian force to attack this fleeing and plundering Christian group(Arfa, the Kurds p55 f).
After 19 days the Christian group suffering casualties, was able to reach at the British units deployed near the castle of Sayin. They walked 200km. The British forces took them to Hamadan. 10 thousand of them died. The total number of refugees was established at 50 thousand. It was impossible to take care of these people in Iran that suffered from famine. The British sent the refugees south to Bakuba where the food supply was better. During this period about 5000 Assyrians died of tuberculoisis(1920).
In autumn of 1920, Agha Petros attempted to return to Urmiya with the silent assistance of the British. Due to the bad organizing and the resistense by the Kurds, the only thing they could do was was plunder the Muslim villages of Akra and kill the peasants(Longrigg p 138). The British exiled Petros to France where he died in 1932.
In the term of 1921/24, 8 thousand Assyrians returned to Hakarri. According to the statement made by Turkish sources, on september 3rd, a group of Assyrians in Van killed the police chief and kidnapped the governor to Mosul(Edmonds p387). The Turks chased after them to Mosul. In June 1925, Khoshaban the malik of Tiari tribe applied the Turkish officials for permission for a few thousand Assyrians to return to Lezan near Hakarri(Olson p121). After the Iranians exterminated the short lived state of Simko(1922), almost 10 thousand Assyrians and Chaldeans were able to return to Azerbijan(Palva p18).
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