About 80 dead - 670 families from Kasab fled to the port city of Latakia Kasab (kath.net / idea ) In north-west Syria, Islamist rebels have attacked the predominantly Christian town of Kasab. The reports are from the Christian Hilfsbund (Bad Homburg) working there in the Orient, citing eyewitnesses. As the director of federal assistance, Andreas Baumann, the Protestant news agency 'idea' said it has so far the area on the Syrian-Turkish border has been relatively quiet and safe. In the 3500 population city and twelve surrounding villages, there live mainly Christian Armenians. Even Armenian refugees from the city of Aleppo and other parts of the country have sought refuge there from the fighting. On 21 March an offensive had been launched by the Islamists. 670 Christian families then fled or were evacuated by the Syrian military - more than 60 kilometers south from the port city of Latakia. They lived there with relatives or in churches. Partner organizations of Christian auxiliary Federal supplied them with food.
Turkey Syrian Shoots Down Syrian Jet.
Baumann showed himself very concerned about the development. Government troops had tried in vain to repel the insurgents. So far, 80 people have been killed. Rebels had beheaded 13 Armenians. In the fighting, the Turkish military had shot down a Syrian fighter aircraft, according to the media reports it had penetrated Turkish airspace. According to Baumann it is believed that the rebels had advanced from Turkish soil to Kasab. The place is located just three kilometers from the Turkish border. Meanwhile, Latakia was being attacked with rockets, Baumann said. The Armenians are considered as the oldest Christian nation in the world. During the First World War they were the victims of genocide by the then Ottoman Empire, now Turkey. He noted an estimated 300,000 to 1.5 million Armenians fell victim. Turkey denies this genocide. Of the 21 million inhabitants of Syria, 90 percent are Muslim and 6.3 percent Christian, of which three percent are Catholics and Orthodox, plus small groups of Protestants before the Civil War. The rest of the population consists of non-religious people or followers of other religions. The Christians enjoyed relative freedom of belief under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad; they are hunted by the insurgents as his allies.
Link to kath.net....