Christians of Aleppo volunteer in Syrian Arab Army to repel the Free Army rebels
Breaking News Network - Newspapers
The Christian community has tried to avoid taking sides in the Syria’s crisis.
In Aleppo, people from the Syrian Scout movement, with some Armenian groups have volunteered in the Syrian Army to protect churches to repel opposition guerrillas.
"Everybody is fighting everybody," said George, an Armenian Christian from the city.
"The Armenians are fighting because they believe the Free Army are sent by their Turkish oppressors to attack them, the Christians want to defend their neighborhoods, the Syrian Arab Army is fighting the militias of Free Army."
Up to 150 Christian and Armenians have been fighting to prevent Free Army armed rebels from entering Christian areas of Aleppo.
George said that "The rebels were threatening the churches."
"Free Army snipers were on the rooftops and they were attacking the Maronite church and Armenian residents there," said a former clergyman named John, who said he had witnessed the battle.
The battle for Aleppo has become bitter, with militant jihadist groups playing a more prominent role than in any other city.
Residents of the city told The Telegraph that the city's minorities feared that they would suffer the same fate as Christians in Iraq, who were heavily targeted by the sectarian violence that erupted after the 2003 war.
John said that “the Free Army is all a bunch of thugs and thieves. I watched them steal from a textile factory – they took everything; gas, materials, even the beading machines."
In Aleppo on Wednesday four Syrian Armenians were reported killed and 13 wounded in an ambush near the airport.