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Syria recognises Armenian genocide as tensions rise with Turkey

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The Syrian Parliament, on Thursday adopted a resolution recognising the mass killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide amid growing tensions with Turkey.

Ankara categorically rejects the use of the term genocide to describe the killings and mass expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians beginning in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, of which Turkey is the successor state.

According to Turkey, between 300,000 and 500,000 Armenians died, and it was largely the result of unrest during World War I.

The exact dates and numbers are disputed.

The state News Agency, SANA, reported that the Syrian Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution, condemning and recognizing the genocide committed against Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman State at the beginning of the 20th century.

However, the move comes shortly after Turkish President Recep Erdogan threatened to attack Syrian forces if Turkish troops in the war-torn country were harmed.

Turkey supports rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier, the Head of Syrian Parliament, Hammodueh Sabbagh, blamed Erdogan for the ongoing airstrikes.

“As we are living a Turkish aggression based on the abhorrent Ottoman ideology, we remember the heinous crime committed by Erdogan’s ancestors against the friendly Armenian people.

“Syrians know well this kind of atrocious, racist crime as they are being exposed to this sort of brutal terrorism and to the same criminal,” Sabbagh said.

In Oct. 2019, the U.S. lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognising the Armenian genocide, a move that infuriated Turkey.

Armenian Remembrance Day is marked around the world on April 24.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim

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