The community has a history in France dating back to the First World War, with most arriving due to ethnic and religious conflicts, leaving Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The bulk of the Assyrian presence dates back to the early 20th century, when some Assyrians, fleeing the Assyrian Genocide, found refuge in France. Others arrived from rural south-eastern Turkey as a result of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict in the 1960s and 70s. Their numbers swelled after the Iraq War in 2003 by those arriving from Iraqi cities.
Around 10,000 of the 16,000 Assyrians live in Sarcelles, a suburb of Paris. They are generally compared to French Jews who are seen as inward-looking, conservative and well-integrated in the French society.