Assyrians in Syria

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Assyrians/Syriacs in Syria
Total population
900,000 - 1,200,000[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
Languages
Syriac-Aramaic, Arabic
Religion
Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East

Assyrians have lived in the territory that is today northeastern Syria since 2000 BC, and they make up around 5% of the population of Syria. Parts of modern day Syria was also an integral part of Aramean proper, and during the Neo Assyrian Empire (911-608 BC) the entirety of the modern country of Syria was under Assyrian rule. A further influx settled there at the beginning of the French Mandate of Syria as refugees from the now Turkish areas north of present-day Syria, then as refugees from the newly independent Iraq in 1933 after the massacres of Assyrians there (see Simele massacre). [3]

In 1936, in the midst of local incidents, religious and political leaders in the Syrian Al-Jazira province (nowadays the Al Hasakah) asked the French authorities to give the province an autonomous status with regard to its mixed Assyrian-Kurdish-Armenian-Jewish-Arab population, like in the Sanjak of Alexandretta, the Alaouites territory or the Jabal el Druze, with no result as the Arab nationalists in Damascus opposed any balkanisation of the future independent Syrian Republic.

Later on, in 1957, the Assyrian Democratic Organization was set up in Syria by center-left intellectuals.[4]

Assyrians/Syriacs are a distinct ethnic group, they are Eastern Syriac-Aramaic speaking Semites and are traditionally followers of either the Ancient Church of the East, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic Churches . They are native to Iraq, north eastern Syria, north western Iran and south eastern Turkey.

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