Assyrians and Kurds unified against ISIS

Displaced Assyrian civilians gather in front of a church in Syria's Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Tel Temir, Syria – The Kurdish village of Qasimiya is currently sheltering dozens of displaced Assyrian families who left their hometown of Hemun near Tel Temir in northeastern Syria, following attacks by militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL).    

“With the intensified fighting between the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in the outskirts of the strategic village of Tel Temir, many Assyrian families have been displaced, heading to the village of Qasimiya,” Assyrian activist Adnan Shabu told ARA News.

Shabu pointed out to the suffering of civilians in the areas exacerbates the deteriorating humanitarian situation, emphasizing the importance of the Kurdish solidarity with the Assyrian community. 

“This solidarity under the current hardships in the region is an indication of the historical coexistence among Kurds and Assyrians,” he said. 

Tale of Two Villages

Shabu, who was displaced with his family from the village of Helmun which is now under the control of IS militants, also pointed out that the relationship between the two villages, the Assyrian village of Helmun and the Kurdish village of Qasimiya, is deep-rooted.

“These two villages demonstrated a unique example of coexistence,” the Assyrian activist added. “When the Kurds opened their homes to the Assyrians, everybody became sure that this union would never be defeated, not even by the most brutal terror group.” 

“The Kurds protected those displaced families, spending the nights on guarding the entrances of the village (Qasimiya), as well as linking their fate to the fate of their Assyrian brothers.”

According to Shabu, several Kurdish men from Qasimiya have joined the fight against IS extremists near the Assyrian village of Helmun. 

“I know a Kurdish man who was martyred during the clashes while defending the Assyrian village against the barbarism of ISIL. With this determination, we will achieve victory against those terrorists.” 

Speaking to ARA News in Tel Temir, mayor of the village of Helmun, Nazir Yalda, said: “I’ve never left my hometown, but this brutal attack obliged me to protect my family, and there was no other way than leaving Helmun.”

“When I left my house, feelings of outrage and sorrow overwhelmed me. There are no words to express the situation of the Assyrians at the moment,” he said.

Yalda also stressed the urgent need of civilians for humanitarian aid, appealing to regional and international aid organizations to assist hundreds of Assyrians in northeastern Syria. 

Reporting by: Ibrahim Ali

Source: ARA News

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