Assyrian-Syriac fighters: We will defend our people and land

Fighters of the Syriac Military Council and Khabour Guards declare that they will defend the Til Temir region and its people against the Turkish invasion.

For 36 days the Turkish state and its allied mercenaries have been attacking Northern and Eastern Syria from the ground and from the air. The region's defence forces are resisting bitterly to defend the country, its people and their achievements. The attacks on Til Temir (Tel Tamer), a city in which Syriacs, Arabs, Kurds and Armenians live together, have increased significantly in recent days in particular. The region has meanwhile become one of the most severely attacked targets in Northern Syria. Turkey's attacks are aimed at expanding the occupied zone to the south and taking control of the strategically important M4 highway.

After a great massacre perpetrated by the ISIS in Til Temir in 2015, the Khabour Guards were founded and have been defending the region ever since. ANF correspondent Ersin Çaksu spoke with fighters from the Syriac Military Council and the Khabour Guards.

"We will defend our people against this plot"

The front of the fighters runs along 33 villages on the Khabour river. The fighters emphasize that they are willing to pay any price to protect the region. The fighter of the Syriac Military Council, Salim Mahmud Salih, explains: "We are defending a region here in which mainly Christian people live. But we protect all ethnic and religious identities. Therefore we will do everything that is necessary and are ready to fight. We are ready to defend our people and our country against any conspiracy."

"Even the places where the civilian population flees are attacked"

Yaroub Dawud, also a fighter of the Syriac Military Council, says: "We defend our country against the FSA named criminals. We are on the front line to protect our people. For days they have been attacking civilian settlements with mortars and heavy weapons with the aim of driving the people away. People have fled, but also the places where the population flees are attacked. We will defend our people and are ready to pay the price."

"This land is ours"

The Khabour Guards were founded after the 2015 ISIS massacre and have defended the region ever since. David Muhan, one of the fighters of the Khabour Guards, tells ANF: "There are massive attacks on our region. This country belongs to us and we defend it, without making a difference between Syriacs, Arabs and Kurds, we defend all peoples. Because the Turkish state attacks us all without distinction whether elderly or children. The bombs are falling on all of us."

"We will continue to defend the population"

Filip Nebil of Khabour Guards comments on their tasks: "We are here to protect our country from the attacks of the Turkish state and its criminal gangs. There is an attack on our people. Our Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian people are under threat. We are ready to carry out every task to defend our people."

Another fighter named Mahmud Cuma says: "The region under attack is inhabited mainly by Syriacs but there are also many refugees from other areas currently living in the Syriac villages in Khabour. We defend our people and our honor, and we will continue to do so."

"All peoples targeted by the attacks"

Hawro Ceymi fights at the forefront of the Syriac Military Council and says: "We are defending our country and the peoples of the region here. Because we live here as Syriacs, Kurds and Arabs together. The attacks are directed against all of us."