A few days ago, a user on the Assyrian Voice forums shared a Youtube video that not only pumped us but put a big smile on our faces: it was of Assyrian soldiers guarding their Assyrian town in the Qamishly region. They were part of a newly formed Assyrian militia, created to guard against terrorists and other elements of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ which have been wreaking havoc on various peaceful Assyrian and Christian villages in Syria.
Assyrians in Syria (numbering about 50,000) are demonstrating that they have learned from the Assyrian experience in Iraq. They already know what happened in Iraq following the removal of Saddam and in the last 10 years and reasoned that in order to defend yourself and be protected, you better take things into your own hands. No one else will protect you, not even the Syrian army. It is a civil war and everyone is out to defend themselves. The way things are going in Syria, it is from bad to worse and it will get even worse before it gets any better. Given these deterioration conditions, it helps to have an armed force-however small-to defend you.
Now if we can only get Assyrians from the diaspora to offer support to these militias. You never know what and how big their mission will be in a few years from now, once the Syrian crisis has been resolved (however that will shape up to be)
If-and I know this scenario was crazy to even talk about a few years ago-Syria was to be split into smaller states, the only way we can get something is if we have an army that is ready to fight for what is rightly theirs.
We all hope the Syrian crisis will be resolved very soon, and peacefully. It has been 2 years already and some 70,000 or more have lost their lives. This is making the 10 year Iraq invasion and insurgency look peaceful in comparison, where an estimated 130,000 have lost their lives (including US and coalition troops deaths) But until the Syrian crisis is resolved, our people there will do what it takes to protect themselves and they have my admiration and respect for being courageous and taking weapons in self-defense.