US Ambassador to the UN: Recent attacks on Kessab are a huge concern


Most United Nations Security Council members have “raised the issue” of the recent takeover of the historically Armenian town of Kessab, Syria, and urged the world body “to do more to meet the needs of these people,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and members of a key House Appropriations panel Wednesday during a Congressional hearing, reports about this referring to the Armenian National Committee of America.

During a question and answer session at the House Appropriations Committee State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing with Ambassador Power earlier today, Rep. Schiff asked “About a week ago, the town of Kessab, which is predominantly Armenian Christian, was attacked by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had crossed over from Turkey and the town was emptied in a bloody assault. Many of the residents are descendants of the Armenian Genocide and there is particular poignancy in them being targeted in this manner.” Rep. Schiff went on to ask what efforts the United Nations and its agencies are making to address the crisis.

Ambassador Power, noting that the recent attacks on Kessab are a “huge concern,” went on to note that: “Most of the [UN Security] Council members raised the issue of Kessab, calling on the UN to do more, to try to meet the needs of these people. [...] I would note that, unfortunately, the extremist group that appears to have taken hold of that town is not one that the United States and the United Nations overall has a great deal of leverage over. And so, our emphasis now, is on supporting the moderate opposition in Syria that is taking on those extremist groups and making sure that the UN has the funding it needs, and the resources of all kinds that it needs to accommodate [...] in this case, the Syrian Armenian community, as you said, an internally displaced population flow. So, it’s resources, it’s strengthening the moderate opposition which is taking on ISIL – the very group that appears to have taken over that town – making sure that none of the neighbors are giving support to terrorist groups or extremist groups which would aid their efforts in seizures like that, and going on a funding drive internationally because only a very small percentage of the UN funding appeal for Syria generally has been filled at this point.”

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