The number of Christians and Assyrians was affected by the various military conditions, of which the regions of Syria have been subjected to. As Assyrians in north-eastern Syria have undergone a great wave of displacement towards European countries and the United States in the last ten years, where there're those who left, and others who escaped the Islamic State terrorist group ISIS attacks, on al-Khabour and Tal Tamr villages, the latest of which was the Turkish military invasion.
Father Boghus Ishaya, the priest of the Assyrian Church in Tal Tamr, told North-Press: “The residents of the town of Tal Tamr are mostly Assyrians, but there is a big difference in their number between the past and the present, due to the immigration for the sake of work in Europe, the United States and Canada, but the greatest reason was ISIS attacks on our villages and towns."
He added that with the waves of displacement which are witnessed in villages in al-Khabour towards Tal Tamr since 2015 till now, due to the recent situation in the region following the Turkish military attack, the number of the displaced people has critically increased.
The priest explained: "We practice our religious rites to the fullest in our town despite the situation in the region, and no one prevents us from praying, whether the Holy Mass on feasts, Sundays and the memory of saints."
Moreover, Father Ishaya pointed out that: "As human beings, we are naturally afraid of the tensions in the vicinity of Tal Tamr and the villages of al-Khabour, and those who are not afraid are not human beings. However, the Church remains and therefore our Assyrian parishioners remain, we stich to on another to overwhelm fear, and we raise our prayers so that peace be upon all our regions."
According to Father Ishaya, the Turkish military attack on northeastern Syria targets not only the Assyrians, but also the society as a whole, and does not differentiate between Christians and Muslims.The aim of the attack is to intimidate and displace people, "nevertheless we hold strongly to our land," he added.