Assyrian Christians gathered last Sunday to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, despite the recent escalation of Turkish bombardment. Hundreds of Tel Tamer residents gathered to worship together at the Church of Virgin Mary.
For the past month, Tel Tamer and its surrounding countryside have experienced shelling by Turkish forces and armed opposition factions. Residents have lost belongings, experienced damaged homes, injuries and been forced to flee to safer areas. Just one day before the celebrations the town was hit by dozens of shells.
Turkey has long been targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is an armed group fighting for Kurdish rights in Turkey, and they are designated as a terrorist organization by most countries. Turkey extended the fight into Syrian territory, claiming that the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is the Syrian offshoot for the PKK. Turkey's fight against the PKK has long taken place in northern Iraq as well. In both countries, Christian villages and residents face harm to their physical safety, homes, and livelihood. Christians are displaced but find themselves with no place else to go.