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Christmas celebrated in border area of northern Syria

Christmas celebrated in border area of northern Syria
Prayers recited in Syriac, Arabic for unity, solidarity at Syriac Orthodox Church of Mar Tuma in Ras al-Ayn, area cleared of terrorists by Turkish-led operation

By Esref Musa

RAS AL-AYN, Syria (AA) – Assyrian Christians celebrated Christmas over the weekend in Ras al-Ayn, northern Syria, an opposition area cleared of terrorists some two years ago in an operation led by Turkey.

The Turkish Army and its local ally the Syrian National Army (SNA) eliminated PKK/YPG terrorists from the region, just across Turkey’s border, with Operation Peace Spring in October 2019.

At a Christmas ceremony at the Syriac Orthodox Church of Mar Tuma (St. Thomas) in the center of Ras al-Ayn, locals were in attendance, along with Abdullah Erin, the governor of Turkey’s Sanliurfa province, just across the border, plus Abdurrahman Mustafa, head of the opposition Syrian interim government, and SNA Commander Seyf Ebu Bekir.

During the service, led by high priest Gabriel Akyuz, who came from Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province, people recited prayers and chants in both Syriac and Arabic for unity and solidarity.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Huda Curus, a resident of Ras al-Ayn, paid tribute to the holiday for Christians in Ras al-Ayn and worldwide.

Local Ziyad Melki commented: "No one in Ras al-Ayn imposes their own ideas on us. We live and celebrate our religious holidays freely.”

Abdurrahman Mustafa said he paid a visit to Ras al-Ayn to share the holiday happiness of his Assyrian brothers.


- Preserving places of worship

Mustafa stressed that after the operation that liberated the region, the Syrian interim government and Syrian National Army made an effort to preserve places of worship and to repair and maintain the places destroyed by the terrorist PKK/YPG.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in October 2019 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian branch.


* Writing by Seda Sevencan​​​​​​​

source: News Feed
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