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A genocide warning in Syria

Turkish attacks appear to target Christian sites and neighborhoods

A Syrian woman on Wednesday walks past smoke from Turkish bombardments in the northeastern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

A genocide warning in Syria

SYRIA: Turkish forces launched a bombing campaign across northeastern Syria on Wednesday, targeting civilian areas and killing Syriac Christians. Turkish bombardments appeared to target Christian sites and neighborhoods, including Mar Gorgios Assyrian Church in Qameshli and the town of Nusaybin, actually in Turkey but containing the oldest church in the region. At least two children are reported dead and four injured. But one family first reported killed appears to have survived. Residents in Qamishli told me they’ve not heard bombings since Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump can’t say he didn’t know: A January 2018 Turkish offensive displaced about 167,000 Kurds, Yazidis, and Christians—and Turkey has occupied that territory since. On Tuesday I spoke with Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet about the likelihood of the assault and stakes for Christians in the area. Genocide Watch has renewed a genocide warning, saying “Kurds, Christians, and Yezidis in Northeast Syria are at grave risk of genocide by the armies of Turkey and Syria.” (See map.)

GERMANY: A German man armed with two guns tried and failed to gain access to a synagogue on Wednesday in the city of Halle, where some 60 worshipers, including 10 Americans, had gathered to celebrate Yom Kippur. The gunmen streamed the attempted assault online and killed two people near the synagogue, lobbed a projectile over the synagogue gate, and started shooting, witnesses said.

IRAQ: Authorities deployed “brazen use of excessive and lethal force” against street protesters in Baghdad, Amnesty International has documented. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sought to quell unrest, with more than 100 protesters dead and thousands injured.

ARMENIA: Kim Kardashian, who is half-Armenian, laid flowers at a memorial dedicated to those who perished in Turkey’s Armenian genocide before returning to Turkey. The reality star has come under fire from Armenian groups for making some of her new clothing line in Turkey, which has refused to acknowledge the genocide that killed more than 1.5 million mostly Christians a century ago.

HONG KONG: Not wanting to risk its lucrative market in China, the NBA is distancing itself from Hong Kong protesters and their supporters.

CHINA: The United States placed visa restrictions on Chinese officials suspected of being involved in the detention and human rights abuses of millions of Uighur Muslims and other minority groups.

FRANCE: Mona Lisa was returned to her usual spot at the Louvre following a two-month renovation, and officials promise a more intimate viewing experience after changing the viewing lines.

I’M READING To Stop a Warlord by Shannon Sedgwick Davis.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine’s first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run From ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C.



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