Turkey denounced Syrian parliament's vote Thursday recognizing the massacre of around 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1917 as " genocide, " amid fierce tensions between Ankara and Damascus after deadly clashes in the northwest from Syria.
Read also: The Syrian Parliament recognizes the Armenian genocide
" It is a hypocritical act on the part of a regime which for years has committed all kinds of massacres against its own people (...) which caused the displacement of millions of people and which is known for its use of arms chemicals, "said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement. He accused Damascus of having caused a " humanitarian tragedy (...) at our border " and denounced " baseless accusations made by a despotic regime which has lost its legitimacy ".
It is estimated that between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the First World War by troops of the Ottoman Empire, then allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary. Armenians seek to have the international community recognize the existence of genocide. Turkey recognizes massacres but rejects the term genocide, referring to a civil war in Anatolia coupled with a famine, in which 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and as many Turks were killed.
Read also: The Kremlin accuses Ankara of not "neutralizing terrorists" in Idleb
Sign of the strong tensions between Ankara and Damascus, on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to hit the Syrian regime " everywhere " in the event of a new attack against the Turkish forces deployed in the north of Syria, after the death of several of his soldiers. Turkey, which supports the Syrian rebellion against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, has launched since 2015 three military operations in Syria against the Islamic State group and the Kurdish fighters that Ankara describes as " terrorists ". Turkish forces thus seized a 120-kilometer-long border strip inside Syrian territory, in the south of Turkey.