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Jenan Moussa
1/ Through a source in Tel Abyad, , I obtained these exclusive pictures. It shows the Armenian church there was recently vandalized by Turkey backed Syrian groups who captured Tel Abyad after U.S. pull out. Acc to witnesses, vandalism took place on or around 31-10-2019.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
2/ Acc to eyewitnesses: Armed members of Syrian rebel groups entered Armenian church in Tel Abyad on or around 31 Oct 2019. They smashed &broke (Maria) statue. Other religious objects (pictures, candles etc) thrown on floor. Wooden church seats turned over. Here more pics:
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
3/ According to eyewitnesses: Members of Syrian rebel groups who vandalized the Armenian church in Tel Abyad claimed that the presence of a church in their areas is sinful. Witnesses say the vandals belonged to Syrian group al-Jabha al-Shamiya or Faylaq al-Majd.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
4/ Armenian church in Tel Abyad has rough history. Church already vandalized by during its rule of town in 2014-2015. In 2015 SDF took town. Armenians then repaired damage to church & I visited in 2017 when SDF was in control. Here that story:
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
5/ Back in 2017 when I visited Tel Abyad, the town was in SDF hands. Armenian caretaker of the church had just finished repairing the ISIS damage. Using his personal money and some small donations, he had renovated parts of church. Here two pics I took in 2017:
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
6/ I stayed in touch with people in Tal Abyad, Arabs and Armenians. They told me situation was stable from 2017 until October 2019. ISIS damage got renovated and church was open. This changed October 9 after U.S. pulled out of N-Syria &Turkey started operation Peace Spring.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
7/ When Syrian rebels captured Tel Abyad, a rebel channel (Halab Today TV) claimed on Oct 18 in a tv report that SDF used Armenian church as its headquarters & hung PKK flags in the church. I already explained in this thread that this was fake news.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
8/ But let's suppose -for argument sake- PKK banners were in Armenian church, the footage of Halab Today TV also clearly shows interior of Armenian church is normal. So when rebels entered Tel Abyad, church had not been vandalised yet. Here 2 screenshots from Halab TV report:
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @AJArabic
9/ The story doesn't end here. On 3rd Nov 2019, Al Jazeera Arabic visits same Armenian church. But their reporter misrepresents the facts. Although report shows pictures of the fresh damage of the church caused by rebels, reporter says church was vandalized by ISIS.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
10/ Clearly worried that vandalizing Armenian church isn't great PR, rebel supporters then start spreading story that churches now are getting repaired in their areas. However no mention that rebel groups belonging to that same SNA (pro-Turkey groups) vandalized it days earlier.
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Jenan Moussa Nov 10
Replying to @jenanmoussa
11/ Last thing: This thread shows how difficult it is to get the real Syria story. Especially in areas where independent media isn't allowed, it is really hard and often propaganda wins. Luckily I'm still in touch with Syrians on the ground who still believe in truth over lies.
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