The Turkish occupation forces continue their attacks on northern Syria in order to enlarge the occupation zone. Til Temir in particular is at the centre of the attacks. The region is defended by the Syriac Military Council and the Khabur Guards.
The Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Folhoyo Suryoyo, MFS) was founded on January 8, 2013, and the Khabur Guards on April 1, 2012. Hundreds of Assyrian, Syriac and Armenian people have joined both armed groups since then.
Twins Basil Hesekê and Dawid Dibaz are Assyrians. They have been defending their homeland as fighters of the Khabur Guards against the occupation for five years. "In the face of the cruelty taking place, we could not stand to do nothing. We joined the Assyrian forces to avenge the attacks on our people and to protect the people," explains Basil Hesekê.
"In one night, hundreds of Assyrians were kidnapped by the ISIS. But the barbarity of the ISIS has not been able to break our will. On the contrary, our will became stronger with each attack. What impressed me most in the struggle was the fact that all peoples are fighting together against the ISIS. It is through this unity that the ISIS has been defeated.
The same jihadists who overrun the region in 2015 under the name of ISIS are now attacking again under a different name and Turkish command, Basil says: "All the mercenaries of the Turkish state are ISIS jihadists. The Turkish state wants to repeat the massacres the Ottoman Empire committed against the Assyrians."
His brother Dawid Dibaz notes that their grandfather told of the massacres of that time: "What is happening today brings these stories to life again. We are resisting the grandchildren of the Ottomans who massacred our ancestors. We have sworn to avenge them. We are the grandchildren of the survivors. We will never allow a Turkish occupation."