DAMASCUS—The Ottoman Turks committed heinous crimes against millions of Armenians, Syriacs, and other groups under their rule, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday, SANA reports.
The President attended a ceremony organized by the Martyrs’ Sons and Daughters Schools Establishment in Damascus to honor the children of martyrs who followed in their fathers’ footsteps and joined military academies.
President al-Assad addressed the children of martyrs and the schools’ staff members, saying that he feels great joy when he meets the sons and daughters of martyrs, and that he wanted to join them on this occasion, which takes place on Martyrs Day.
Assad stressed that Martyrs Day has many values associated with it, some of them symbolic, and some very tangible linked to the history of Syria, as around 100 years ago, the Ottomans carried out a campaign of arrests and executions of Syrian patriots and nationalists which culminated in 1916 when a large group of nationalists were executed by the Ottomans for defending the Syrian people from oppression.
President Assad noted that the Ottomans’ crimes at that time weren’t restricted to nationalists; they also committed heinous crimes against millions of Armenians, Syriacs, and other groups under their rule at a time, and now these same massacres are being repeated in the same way but with different tools and names, “as back then it was the Othman Jammal Basha ‘the Butcher’ who had ordered the executions, and today history repeats itself as his ancestor Erdogan ‘the Butcher’ is the one committing these crimes.”