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Syrian Christians condemn Turkish invasion and warn of potential genocide

SYRIAC Christians united to condemn attacks by Turkish forces and their jihadist allies in northern Syria today and started a “genocide watch” as hundreds of thousands fled their homes.

The Syriac Strategic Research Centre warned that Isis fighters had caused a “large migration” of Christians from an area east of the River Euphrates as they swept across the region.

This reduced the Christian population dramatically, from 300,000 people to 100,000, with the remaining numbers spread across the border area where Turkey wants to drive out all the residents and replace them with Syrian refugees.

“Turkey plans to ethnically cleanse our towns such as Derik, Qamishlo, Hassakeh amd Til Timir… Should Turkey be allowed to do this we will see the end of Christianity in the area,” a statement warned.

Russian forces deployed to the border with Turkey today as part of a new agreement between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kurdish fighters have been given 150 hours from noon to withdraw 18 miles from the border area. The deal covers an area from the Euphrates, just east of Manbij, to the Iraqi border.

The agreement does not include the area currently under Turkish military control – between the towns of Sere Kaniye and Tal Abyad.

At least 156 Christian families have been displaced by the new Turkish invasion, the Syriac Strategic Research Centre said, warning of human rights abuses and an ethnic cleansing operation.

“Fundamentalist groups allied with Turkey aim first to kill the Christians,” the statement added.

“These fighters, which are paid by Nato ally Turkey, have committed human rights abuses and declared that they will ethnically cleanse the area. They support the same ideology as groups such as Isis.”

Father George Moshe, pastor of the Evangelical Christian Union Church in Qamishlo, appealed to the international community to put pressure on Turkey to stop such criminal acts.

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