Syria’s parliament recognises Armenian genocide
Syria’s parliament recognises Armenian genocide

Syria’s parliament on February 13 recognised the 1915-1917 killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, as tensions run high with Turkey after deadly clashes in northwest Syria.

“The parliament… condemns and recognises the genocide committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman state at the start of the twentieth century,” the legislature said in a statement, as reported by France 24.

The Armenians seek international recognition that the mass killings of their people under the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1917 amounted to genocide. They say 1.5 million died.

Turkey strongly refutes the accusation and says both Armenians and Turks died as a result of World War I. It puts the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.

The Syrian parliament’s latest move comes after weeks of tensions between Ankara and Damascus over deadly clashes between their forces in northwest Syria which Ankara says has killed 14 of its soldiers.

Russia-backed Syrian government forces have since December upped their deadly bombardment of the last major bastion of opposition in northwest Syria, where Ankara supports the rebels and has deployed troops.

The offensive on the jihadist-dominated bastion of Idlib has also forced 700,000 people from their homes towards the closed Turkish border, the United Nations says.