Thursday, July 12, 2012

Armenians Fleeing Syria

Is it possible that the current conflict in Syria could mean the end of that country's Armenian population?
"Several hundred people have already arrived in Armenia to escape rising violence in Syria, and they say thousands more could be on their way...
"Syria is home to around 80,000 Armenians, most descendants of the survivors of mass killings in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 onwards. Although they are well integrated in Syria, the violence of the last year has forced many to consider leaving.
"The influx is likely to increase as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces continue attacking towns around the country, and as his armed opponents put up more resistance. Concentrated in in Aleppo, the Armenian minority is seen as supportive of the Assad government.
"Emigrating is difficult when there are few buyers for homes and businesses."
That story is from last month.  Now, Armenia's national airline has resumed direct flights between Aleppo and Yerevan, and seats are completely booked through September.  If Aleppo becomes a battleground, which it hasn't thus far, the Armenians will become victims, and that's when emigration could really escalate.

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