Nubar Ozanyan Brigade: We remember our martyrs! The path they walked is our path!

We are a Brigade established to defend our lands and people in Northern and Eastern Syria, as well as to keep our Armenian identity and culture alive. As a military and revolutionary institution, it is our most important duty to commemorate our martyrs. As the Nubar Ozanyan Brigade, we declare the last week of January every year as Martyrs’ Week.

For this purpose, we respectfully commemorate all revolutionaries, communists, commanders and fighters who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of humanity, for the defense of their lands against imperialist and fascist attacks and who were martyred for this cause. The path they walked is our path.

Communists and revolutionaries who struggle for the liberation of all humanity are fighting against imperialism, feudalism, patriarchy and capitalist barbarism. They have not hesitated to sacrifice their lives against all injustices, wherever they are in the world. Comrades Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and Lenin, who were martryred in January, illuminated the parth of humanity against the imperialist capitalist order. Lenin, the leader of the October Revolution, proved that workers and laborers can have their own state. In this sense he is a great leader. At the same time, Meral Yakar and Ali Haydar Yıldız are the first martyrs of the Proletarian Party and were martyred this month. On the occasion of the Martyrs’ Week, we say that we follow their path and commemorate all communist leaders with respect.

The revolutionaries who fought for the freedom of oppressed nations have left us a great legacy in the defense of our homeland. In this sense, we commemorate Omar Mukhtar, who was a great symbol for the Libyan people, Georg Habbash (Al Hakim) who fought for the freedom of the Palestinian people throughout his life, Leyla Kasım, Sakine Cansız, Mazlum Doğan and Haki Karer who sacrificed their lives for the national freedom of Kurdistan. The struggle of oppressed nations against the oppression of imperialism and the attacks of fascism is just and legimate.

The Rojava Revolution was achieved after a great war. This revolution created a great opportunity for the coexistence of peoples. It created an opportunity for the liberation of women. For this purpose, we commemorate with great respect and gratitude our great commander Nubar Ozanyan, who came to Rojava to protect our people and fight against ISIS. In the person of our comrade Lorenzo Orsetti, who was martyred in this land with an internationalist spirit, all international fighters are a light on our path.

At the cost of the lives and blood of nearly 12 thousand fighters who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Northern and Eastrern Syria, for the Rojava Revolution, ISIS was defeated and the Rojava Revolution could be realized. ISIS reaction still continues to be a danger. In this sense, our war against fascism and reaction still continues. One year ago, 121 of our friends were martyred in the Xweyran/Al Hasakeh attack. As a brigade, we martyred our comrade Oskan Bagiryan while defending our lands. Again, we commemorate with respect the martyred sons of the Armenian people in the person of comrade Dijwar, who martyred in the defense of these lands before the establishment of our brigade.

We promise our martyrs! We will defend the gains of the Rojava Revolution. We will continue to protect our people.

As the Armenian people, we have lived under harsh conditions in history. We have been subjected to great genocides. We have not forgotten our people who were subjected to genocide 107 years ago. May their souls rest in peace. Since then, we will not forget our great Armenian commanders, Andranik Ozanyan, Kevork Sergeant, Monte Melkonian, Leonid Azgaldyan, Levon Ekmekchian etc. who waged struggle with great sacrifices. Again, historically, Armenian revolutionaries who fought for the Armenian people and all oppressed people are an example for us. We remember Zabel Yeseyan, Anahit Aghabegyan, Zarouhi Kavaljan, Shushanik Kurgunyan, Hayrabet Honca, Armenak Bakır, Manuel Demir, Nubar Yalımyan with respect. We will never forget Hrant Dink, who enlightened our path with his works on Muslim Armenians and was murdered by Turkish fascism. Today, the Armenian people are defending themselves in Artsakh against the joint attacks of the Turkish and Azerbaijani states and are martyred. Anush Apikyan was brutally murdered against these fascist attacks. Anush Apikyan is a role model for Armenian women fighters.

The revolutionary life of our Nubar Ozanyan was decisive in the formation of us as a brigade. It is of course his revolutionary and communist line that brought him to Northern and Eastern Syria. The Party of the Proletariat shaped Commander Nubar. Thanks to the steps taken by leader Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, the founder and leader of this Party, the revolutionary struggle in Turkey has experienced a great breakthrough. Leader Kaypakkaya inflicted a great defeat on fascism with his ideology, thoughts and revolutionary practice. As the Brigade, we take Comrade Kaypakkaya as a guide in our struggle against fascism and reaction. Thanks to him, we can analyze the enemy better. We are more determined in our struggle. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the murder of Leader Kaypakkaya, we commemorate him with respect and gratitude. He is our torch.

Our martyrs to illuminate the path we walk!

Martyrs of the revolution are immortal!

We will never forget them.

Nubar Ozanyan Brigade


An interview with the Armenian Social Council in Qamishlo

What is your name? What is your job and the work of the Armenian Council?

Kohar Khajadourian (co-chair of the Armenian Social Council in Qamishlo): We have been working for seven years for this council. After 3 years the General Council was formed in Heseke, and it was recognized by the Autonomous Administration. On this basis, branches were opened in Qamishlo and Deir ez-Zor, and one will soon be opened in Raqqa.

In general, our work focuses on the social, cultural, and historical issues, such as the history of the displacement of Armenians in the past. When the Armenians came to Syria, Kurdish and Arab people treated and accepted us very well. Now we are working with the Armenian diaspora to learn our roots, history, language, and culture: this is the main work of the Council. 

What are your political orientations?

We do not have any political orientation, as I said, our orientations are cultural and social. We are not against anyone, neither regime nor others. We align with all peoples and support the fraternity of peoples. We work for the good of all peoples and also the good of the Armenian people.

There was a conference of Armenian women, what was the purpose of this conference and what is its effect?

That was the first conference of the Armenian Women’s Union. The main objective of this union was to support women to obtain their rights, and to rid them of male domination and outdated customs and traditions in society. The Armenian woman is like any woman in society. There is no difference, she faces a lot of pressure, and we help her to be stronger. We provide women with job opportunities so that they can become more economically self-reliant.

The Armenian Social Council and the Women’s Committee organized this conference. The council is composed of committees, such as the Women’s Committee, the Culture Committee, the Education and Training Committee, the Culture and Art Committee, the Youth Committee, the Finance and Statistics Committee, and we are also working on the census of the Armenian diaspora.

What are the problems facing Armenian women?

This conference was for the Armenian women who were under oppression and tyranny. Among the problems facing Armenian women today are the marriage of minors, deprivation of education, choosing a life partner as well as physical violence, psychological violence, and polygamy.

As we know at this stage there is work on the social contract. What is the role of the Armenians in the social contract?

Before the advent of the Autonomous Administration the Armenian people were not acknowledged, we were known as Assyrians. After that, we as the Armenian people saw that we also have the right to be part of this development. Certainly, we will have a great role in the social contract; we will demand our rights and the rights of language and culture. We must have a role, so decisions are taken as a whole people. 

On the Armenian Independence Day, are there relations between you and Armenia at the political, social and cultural levels?

Before the revolution, the Armenian people were a neutral side. As I said, we are part of this homeland but in the past the Armenian people did not join any parties, for example the Baath Party, nor in other politics.

Armenian schools were named in Armenian language, but after the advent of the Baath regime, the names of the schools were changed to Arabic. After the establishment of the Armenian Council here, people began to get involved, and many Armenians took their sides within the military forces, in addition to their involvement in the ranks of the military forces within the Autonomous Administration. We have a military column for Armenian women too.

The number of Armenians in northeastern Syria was approximately about three thousand families before 2011, from Deir Ezzor to the city of Derik, but it is now around 400 families. There are many Armenians who say that their homeland is Armenia, but do not go to Armenia because of the bad economic situation.

We hear about the existence of peace between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. What is the council’s opinion on this issue?

We do not expect that there will be peace between us and Turkey, especially from the Turkish side, because of their practices towards us. Turkey cannot be trusted, and the choice for peace is theirs to make. They are a brutal and strong state with injustice, and Armenia does not have the necessary strength to recover its lands, but if Russia is honest and considers Armenia a part of it in all respects, then the project of Turkey will fail.

What are the council’s goals for the next 10 years?

The goal of the Armenian Council is to help the Armenian people live a good life, as much as possible, and to have a presence like any other people in all aspects, whether military or cultural. I expect that the next ten years will be better if all minorities and all sects obtain their rights; then the situation can improve on all levels.

Armenian Social Assembly inaugurated in Deir ez-Zor

Members of the Armenian Community Council in the city of Hesekê, civil society organizations and members of the Military Council, as well as many tribal leaders attended the opening ceremony.

The ceremony started with a minute’s silence, and Deir ez-Zor Armenian Community Council president Mihemed El-Ilewi said: “Due to the brutality of the Ottoman state, Armenians migrated from this region and from many parts of Anatolia to different parts of the world 107 years ago.”

Mihemed El-Ilewi thanked the people of Deir ez-Zor for helping the Armenian people who came to the region and said: “The Armenian people have not forgotten the help of the people of Deir ez-Zor.”

El-Ilewi continued: “Your presence here gives morale to all Armenian citizens in Syria in general and all Armenians in Northern and Eastern Syria in particular.” He thanked the Autonomous Administration for their hard work in opening the council.

Zaim Al Mehmud, spokesman for the Syrian Future Party, said: “There is no difference between the components of the region, we are all united against projects that undermine social cohesion.”

Deir ez-Zor Civil Assembly Women’s Committee member Hind El-Ehmed said: “The opening of the Armenian Social Assembly in Deir ez-Zor reinforces the fraternity of the people after the region’s liberation from ISIS.”

Armenian language and culture flourish in Rojava

In northern and eastern Syria, all identities organise themselves in a grassroots democratic way. In this way, all people with their cultures, identities and world views are to represent themselves directly. The struggle against the consequences of the pan-Arab assimilation policy by the Baathist regimes plays an important role in this. The Armenian population, large parts of which have been living there since the Ottoman genocide of 1915, has also been severely affected by the regime’s assimilation policy and is now building its self-organisation step by step.

Armenian language and culture courses

In June, the Armenian People’s Council of North and East Syria launched the first official native language courses. The courses last three months and are taught four hours a day. Twenty-five people take part in each course. These courses aim to revitalise both the Armenian language and culture and represent a milestone.

“Learning Armenian is of incredible importance to me”

Patil Girigor underlined the importance of the language course and said: “These courses are indispensable for the revival and preservation of Armenian culture. Especially considering that we were deprived of this in the previous systems. This course is of incredible importance for us to be able to speak our language like other groups.”

Reclaiming stolen language

Hayik Sosiyan expressed his joy at this opportunity, saying, “It is the first time we can attend an Armenian language course. This gives us the opportunity to learn our stolen language thanks to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.”

Sosiyan pointed out that Armenian culture and language disappeared in 1915 due to the genocide committed by the Ottoman state and the racist policies against Armenians in Syria. Now, new life is being breathed into this culture.

Aghet – the genocide of the Armenian population began in 1915. Millions of Armenians were murdered by the Ottoman regime with the support of the German Reich. Many Armenians were driven through northern Syria into the desert between Mosul and Deir ez-Zor and murdered there. At least 1.5 million people fell victim to the genocide. Many survivors settled in northern and eastern Syria.

Armenians a part of the revolution

On 19 July 2012, with the beginning of the Rojava revolution, many Armenians also participated in the revolution. They fought alongside other structures on the same front. The revolution gave Armenians the opportunity to gain their rights and actively participate in self-government. Due to their history of persecution, representatives of the Armenian minority had previously been rather reluctant to organise themselves in Rojava because of concerns that the regime would return and unleash new waves of persecution. However, through the model of democratic confederalism, Armenian culture is experiencing a renaissance in northern and eastern Syria.

Armenian Social Council revives Armenian heritage in northeast Syria (NPA)

HASAKAH, Syria (North Press) – The Armenian Social Council is working on conducting a census of the number of Armenians in northeastern Syria and reviving the Armenian language, Areef Qasabian, head of the Armenian Social Council, said on Wednesday.  

“We have been conducting a census for the Armenians who came to Syria in 1915 following the massacres committed against them by the Ottoman state,” she told North Press.

Armenians in AANES-held areas  

“As the Armenian community, we were not recognized within the Autonomous Administration, while those who were known; that is, within the Syrian state under the regime, were not recognized, they were known only within the church,” Qasabian added.

There were 25-50 families that were recognized in this way, according to Qasabian.  

She pointed out that when the council was established, they started to conduct assessments where hundreds of families were recognized.  

Mother language

Among the activities carried out by the Council, is teaching the mother tongue, which is practiced within the Council itself.

“We have teachers specialized in the field of teaching the Armenian language, and students of all ages,” Qasabian told North Press.  

“There is a big response from the Armenian families, whose ancestors mixed with Arabs, Kurds, and Yezidis,” she added. 

“Through the council, we revive the Armenian race,” Berberyan noted.  

Turkish massacres against Armenians

Head of the Armenian Social Council indicated that the Armenian people have suffered a lot from the massacres committed against them by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, as well as during the war in Karabakh, Afrin and Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain).

The massacres were not just against the Armenians, they happened to all communities, she noted.

On April 24, 2020, the Armenian Social Council was established in the city of Hasakah, and on April 24, 2019, a military council by the name Nubar Ozanyan, was established.

Reporting by Dilbreen Moosa

North Press Agency – 2021-03-31

Fighters in Rojava remember victims of the Armenian genocide

Fighters from the Şehid Nubar Ozanyan Battalion held a ceremony marking the 105th anniversary of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire.

The military ceremony did not see massive participation due to the pandemic and was attended only by activists from the Armenian Council, which is in foundation process, and few people from immediate surroundings.

TKP-ML TİKKO, Tekoşina Anarşist, MLKP and Til Temir military force also attended the ceremony where speeches were made by the Battalion Commander Monte Vartanyan and Battalion official Nubar Melkonyan in Arabic, Kurdish and Armenian.

Battalion Commander Monte Vartanyan said: “The Armenian genocide is one of the most tragic unforgottable days in history. It is a bleeding wound in our heart and soul. It is a black mark left by the Turkish state. It is a painful day to be remembered in even a thousand years. April 24 is an issue that has continued up to date. It must be seen and understood this way. Now that the Armenian people- hundreds of thousands defined as ‘sword leftover’- can no more speak their mother tongue, have lost their identity and given names that do not belong to them, is it not self evident that the genocide is continuing? Now that the Kurdish people are systematically massacred by the Turkish state today, is it not self evident that the genocide is continuing?

Speaking after, Battalion official Nubar Melkonyan said the following:

“A part of the Armenian population was killed on the way, another part in concentration camps. Over a hundred thousand children and women were forcibly converted into Muslims, then Turkified.

One million and two hundred thousand Armenians were massacred in Syrian lands alone. Those fortunate enough to survive were adopted as handmaid by Kurdish and Arab tribes and families. Majortiy of them were Arabized, the others Kurdified. This is what a genocide is, and it is continuing. The ongoing occupation of the Turkish state means an ongoing genocide.

Let the Turkish state, which has perpetrated this genocide, know that we still exist, we will continue to exist, multiply and live.”

After the military ceremony, the fighters entered the church covered with photos of Armenian revolutionaries, and lit candles in remembrance of the victims of genocide. A video depicting scenes from political, military and culturak trainings given since the establishment of the battalion, was watched afterwards.

The memorial ended after food service for the guests.