Today marks the first anniversary of the Islamist attacks in Syria’s Armenian-populated town of Kessab.
The event captured the international media’s attention shortly after the town was controlled by rebel groups.
One year after the heated developments, the Kessab-Armenians are back home, but many say the town has lost its previous image.
Tireless efforts will be needed to restore the town looted and partially destroyed by insurgents, but the local Armenians say they aren’t willing to leave their homes.
Today too, repeated shootings are heard in Kessab, driving he panic-stricken population – especially women and children – to the port city of Latakia. The one-time prosperous town is now under target, with people in fear of even working in their own gardens.
Situated at a distance of 8km from the Mediterranean, Kessab has a population of an estimated 5,000, of whom 80% are Armenians.
The Turkish border town of Yayladagi (from where the shootings began) is just 3km far from there.
Kessab-Armenians claim Turkey’s direct involvement in the attacks.