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Will Russia save Syrian Ossetians?2012-08-02 18:13
Among the ethnic minorities of Syria, there is one special group - Syrian Ossetians. They are the descendants of the emigrants who left South Ossetia during the Caucasian war. For a century and a half many Ossetians have intermarried with Arab families, but they remain "dear guests" for Syria. The civil war in Syria made them outcasts. The question of their existence now is very urgent: either flee, or die. Syrian alans are looking for help on their historical native land, in Russia.
In November 2011, the head of North Ossetia Taimuraz Mamsurov received the first letter from the Syrian Ossetians, signed by the Chairman of the Ossetian community in Syria Hisham Koshkha (Kolbegov). He wrote: "We, the Ossetians living in Syria, unfortunately, may disappear too quickly. If we won't together seek to protect the Ossetian spirit, language and culture in Syria, then soon there will be no Ossetians in Syria. We, in Syria, in the midst of these terrible events, do not know what to wait, what will be our future and way of life. We call on You, please, Teimuraz Mamsurovich, do not lose connection with the consanguineous Ossetians living in Syria; look at us like at family, like at the consanguineous brothers and sisters, since we lay great hopes on you and firmly believe that you won't forget us".
Meanwhile, the civil confrontation in Syria has been boosted. The Syrian Alans have finally understood that their salvation was only on the historical native land, in Russia. The other day the Ossetian community in Syria sent letters to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania with another request - to evacuate them. "Our appeal to Russia is to accept ethnic Ossetians from Syria as compatriots, wishing to resettle in the Russian Federation, to return to the land of their ancestors, in Ossetia". Hopes for peaceful co-existence of Ossetians in Syria were buried. "In the circles of the conflict parties the nationalist sentiment are growing, threats of physical violence against the representatives of ethnic and religious minorities become louder. Since the beginning of 2012, more than 50 representatives of the North Caucasian Diaspora were killed in Syria".
In a letter to Teimuraz Мамсурову was said: "The country has developed the hardest situation. People are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Hundreds of thousands of people leave the country covered by the fire of war, trying to find refuge in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey". Alans of Syria asked the leader of North Ossetia not to refuse in refuge for them, till they are destroyed. And it is quite possible. There are not so many of Syrian Alans - about a thousand people.
The ancestors of today's Syrian Alans are those Ossetians, who left their own country in the XIX century, fleeing from the war in the Caucasus. Like the Circassians, they settled in the Ottoman Empire and its Middle Eastern provinces. Century and a half of stay in a foreign country has left its mark, of course. Many Ossetians adopted Islam and became related to the Arabs and the Turks. But for the Middle East the Alans have remained the "dear guests", who have lived here for a century and a half out of mercy.