Karabakh: Syrian Refugees Flee One War Zone for Another
About 20,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011. Most of them are Syrian Armenians, descendants of those who fled the Ottoman Empire a century ago amid the genocide against Armenians there.
About 30 families of Syrian refugees live in Karabakh and the territories surrounding it that Armenian armed forces control as a security buffer. Some of them moved here with the help of charity groups like the Artsakh Fund, which aid settlers by offering homes and low-interest loans for leasing land and agricultural equipment.
Others say they were drawn to Karabakh for patriotic reasons. “This is our home, we are finally independent and we will keep this land whatever the price might be,” said Andranik Chaushyan, 36, a recent settler from Syria to the village, in the security zone, known as Lachin in Azeri and Berdzor in Armenian.
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The original version of this story referred to many of the places named as being in Nagorno Karabakh; they are in fact in the surrounding territories controlled by the Armenian armed forces. EurasiaNet regrets the error.