(AINA) -- 500 Assyrians from Syria have crossed the border into Turkey in the past 3 days, seeking refuge from the war in Syria. According to Assyrian church officials in Tur Abdin, Turkey, the refugees are now in Gazentap. The Assyrian churches and monasteries in Tur Abdin and its surroundings are at capacity. Church officials are now considering building a tent city to house the refugees.
Assyrians and other Christians in Syria have been disproportionately affected by the war (AINA 2-8-2013), and have been targeted by the Muslims rebels (AINA 1-31-2013, 1-18-2013, 11-23-2012, 11-20-2012, 11-9-2012). The Muslim Jihadists have kidnapped Assyrians for ransom, attacked places of worship and created a climate of fear, forcing many Assyrians to abandon their homes and villages and seek safety in Turkey.
The case of Suad Malki is a typical example. In July of 2011 her husband, Dr. Staefo Malki, was sitting in his car, in Hassaka, when two Muslims approached and told him to remove the Holy Cross from his car. He refused. The Muslims shot him. Dr. Malki died later in the hospital. But the trouble for the Malki family was not over. The Muslims telephoned his grief stricken wife and told her that they would kill her three sons if they did not leave.
According to a report by Swedish journalist Nuri Kino:
Even though Christians make up more than 10 percent of Syria's population, this amount is not reflected in the UNCHR registred refugees numbers who fled to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The mostly ignored tragedy of the Christians in Iraq has convinced Christians of Syria that international authorities will not step up to protect them. While their plight is well known to the western media outlets they still are forgotten by international aid organizations. They are fleeing massively.
Nuri Kino's comprehensive 40-page report is available here.