One of the world’s oldest Christian minorities, Syria’s Arameans, urged NBC News early Saturday to not mislead the public by covering a false report about Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring. NBC News claimed Thursday that two Syrian Christians were killed overnight in Turkish strikes, citing the Assyrian Military Council militia. It also said that Baderkhan Ahmad, a Syrian-Kurdish journalist reporting from Qamishli city in northeastern Syria, had claimed a Christian mother and her child were killed in his neighborhood. In a Twitter post, the World Council of Arameans (WCA) said "zero Christians” have been killed in northeastern Syria during Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring. "To media: please verify your sources. At least cite non-YPG [People's Protection Units] ones as well. Rectify your current articles. Don't mislead your readers and the public. Stop frightening our people at home!" it added. Back in August, the council revealed the YPG's most recent tactic to instill fear in the minority community and spread lies about Turkish operations.
These Assyrian proxies of the YPG, as described by the WCA, went as far as claiming that "more than 100,000 Assyrian Christians... will be killed or driven away if Turkey invades." The WCA said these shocking headlines and claims contain no truth. Syrian Christians have long been critical of the oppressive practices of the YPG in northern Syria. In August 2018, Armenian and Assyrian private schools in the town of Malikiyah, also known as Derik in Kurdish, were closed on with decrees issued by YPG-linked local education authorities citing that they did not get necessary permission or abide by the curriculum. Following the decision, Syrian Christians gathered in the center of Qamishli and demonstrated against the YPG. Groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, KurdWatch, as well as the United Nations have reported that the YPG used child soldiers, forcefully recruited members for combat, forced people out of areas under its control, carried out arbitrary arrests and confiscated property, which led to major demographic changes. Christian minorities in Turkey has been the supportive of the operation in general so far. Recently, Turkey's Armenian Patriarchate expressed its full support for the Turkish military's anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria, saying they were praying that peace and safety will be established as soon as possible in the area. Similarly, the Istanbul Syriac Ancient Foundation also expressed its full support for the Turkish military's anti-terror operation. "We fully support the operation launched by our country," the foundation said in a statement published on its Twitter account last week, hailing Turkey's war against terrorists and efforts to establish peace in Syria.
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