An Armenian SDF fighter on the trails of his past in Raqqa

Denyar Amed is the son of an Armenian family, that was forced to flee from Amed to Syria during the Armenian genocide. Today in Raqqa, Amed is on the trails of his history.

The 'Great Battle', which the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched on the 6th June to liberate Raqqa, continues in its 99th day. SDF fighters have stalemated the ISIS gangs in the city centre. The battle in the city is intense. After the liberation of the Al-Sukna neighbourhood in Raqqa's city centre, the number of the freed neighbourhoods rose to 16 in total. During the ongoing battle, many strategic key positions have been captured. One of the fighters in the frontlines of the operations is the Armenian Denyar Amed, a citizen of the Hesekê Canton. Amed is the descendent of an Armenian family that was forcibly expelled from the Amed city in the wake of the so called Tehcir (Displacement) Law, which was introduced against the Armenians in 1915 and aimed to change the demography of the region.


Amed, whose family originates from Amed city in Northern Kurdistan, learned only a few years ago that he was Armenian. The Armenian fighter therefore took the name of Amed as his nom de guerre. With the Rojava Revolution he has embarked on a quest to search for his identity. Amed, who is still searching from which part of Amed he originally is, is the son of one of the Armenian families that were driven to Syria during the Armenian Genocide.


Amed stated that he was searching for his identity and said: "Until I get the truth out, I will continue this quest of mine. I want to learn what happened to my family, what situation they went through. This is for me a special situation. I will get to know who I really am, where I really am from, where and how I live."

Amed noted that he came to Raqqa of his own accord and said that in Raqqa they have freed all historical values from the clutches of the ISIS gangs as the result of an intense battle.


Amed stated that when ISIS swept over the Hesekê city, they attacked everyone crossing their way, and continued: "Syriacs, Chaldeans, Armenians and Assyrians were forced to flee. The YPG came and helped us. Through them we became a force. We started to defend ourselves. And we will keep fighting until we destroy ISIS. This is our historic responsibility."


Amed recalled that they had already witnessed the massacres perpetrated by ISIS, saying: We learned atrocity and massacres from Turkey before. Therefore the acts of ISIS are nothing new to us. ISIS is destroying everything. They tried to destroy us Armenians as well. Before now nobody opposed this atrocity. But today we have come to Raqqa to defend and protect our people. We, all the diversity Syria offers, have united to fight against the ISIS gangs. Among us everyone is represented."