Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Differing Takes From Ethnic Armenians Fleeing Syria Fighting

A young Armenian girl from Aleppo arrives at Yerevan airport with her family on July 25.
A young Armenian girl from Aleppo arrives at Yerevan airport with her family on July 25.
Armenia’s national air carrier, Armavia, is pledging more flights to the capital, Yerevan, as demand soars from ethnic Armenians fleeing the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Over the last few weeks, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service has conducted several interviews with people as they exited the Aleppo-Yerevan flight. Reports from Aleppo paint a picture of intense firefights and heavy shelling by government forces.

Ethnic Armenians are estimated to number from 60,000-80,000 in Syria, with the vast majority coming from Aleppo, a northern city with 2 million inhabitants.

Accounts of life there have differed greatly among those arriving at Yerevan's airport. In the most recent video, shot Wednesday, August 1, the mood has dampened, with witnesses seemingly more willing to discuss the dire situation they have fled.

Syrian Armenians Report ‘Worsening Situation’ In Aleppoi
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August 02, 2012
Many ethnic Armenians from Syria arriving in Yerevan tell RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the situation in Aleppo has been going from bad to worse in the past 24 hours. Some of them say Aleppo’s Armenian neighborhoods were no longer safe as fighting between government troops and rebels encroached on those parts of the city.

​Some still say the city is safe. Just a couple of weeks ago -- and up until earlier this week -- passengers arriving in Yerevan seemed far more upbeat or more unwilling to discuss a city at war. As readers can see in the videos below, assessments of the situation on the ground differ based largely on whether the person who fled Aleppo had intentions of returning or not.

Those who told RFE/RL they have every intention of staying in Armenia tended to be far more pessimistic about the situation in the city, with one woman breaking into tears describing the trip to the airport.

Others, though, say the city was largely calm and were quick to point out that Armenians there were safe because the part of the city they lived in was cut off from the fighting and protected by Syrian government forces.

New Wave Of Syrian-Armenians Arrives In Yerevani
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July 12, 2012
Armenia's national airline, Armavia, resumed flights to and from Syria this week after several months. But even with flights back on schedule, there are far more ethnic Armenians trying to leave Syria than available seats. RFE/RL's Armenian Service spoke to passengers arriving on a Syrian Air flight to Yerevan who recounted their difficulties in securing tickets and their fears of violence in Syria. (Video by Naira Bulghadaryan and Hovhannes Shoghikyan)

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Comment Sorting
by: vahakn from: earth
August 05, 2012 16:42
DONT LEAVE SYRIA! dont do what my parents did with lebanon.
armenians were so populated in lebanon they were going to make armenian the forth official language but they stuck with 3.
whats going to happen to our old presence in this region? whos going to live in the land (country) of der zhor?
In Response

by: Jack from: US
August 05, 2012 19:11
You can thank the Wahhabi Sunni peaceful activists, supported by NATO minions. US is biggest sponsor of terrorism against Christians and is the foremost enemy of Christendom.
In Response

by: Sey from: World
August 06, 2012 06:36
Don't you think it's more important to give a boost to the population of Armenia, which is decreasing at alarming rates, than to boost the diaspora?

Axper, Hayastan aveli shat bnakchutyun e petq Hayastanum, qan spyurqum.

by: Ben
August 06, 2012 14:07
Western world mad aspiration to create socialist paradise along with the wish to sharia surrender makes East Christians victims of rabid Islamists.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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