Genocide Memorial, Church in Deir Zor Damaged by ISIS

DAMASCUS (SANA/Tert) — The Armenian Genocide monument and the Holy Martyrs Church of Deir Zor were substantially damaged as a result of a direct attack by the group Islamic State (ISIS).

The website reports that the dome of the church, with a cross atop, has remained standing. The terrorists did not allow anyone to take pictures of the destroyed church.

After ISIS occupied the territory, they laid mines round the church and destroyed it. The sound of the explosion was heard in different parts of Deir Zor.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports that the terrorists have desecrated the holy places and tombs in Syria.

The church was built in 1989-1990, and consecrated a year later. A genocide memorial and a museum housing the remains of the victims of the genocide were also built in the church compound.

Thousands of Armenians from Syria and neighboring countries gathered at the memorial every year on April 24 to commemorate the genocide.

Moreover, numerous records of the Armenian Genocide are kept in the Armenian Genocide museum.

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and the President’s Chief of Staff Vigen Sargisian condemned the attack. “We strongly condemn the explosion by terrorists of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Deir el-Zor, dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide, which housed the remains of its many victims,” Nalbandian said in a statement.

“This horrible barbarity against a holy site yet again demonstrates the savage nature of the so called “Islamic state” terrorist group,” he added.

“The international community should immediately stop and eradicate this plague, which threatens the civilized world and should uproot the channels of its financing, support and sponsorship,” Nalbandian concluded.

Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Catholicos of Cilica Aram I both expressed their outrage about the attack.