Aug 08, 2016 2:28 PM GMT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_peopleAssyrian people (Syriac: ܐܫܘܪܝܐ), also known as Chaldo-Assyrians and Syriacs (see names of Syriac Christians), are an ethnoreligious group indigenous to the Middle East. Most Assyrians speak a Neo-Aramaic language, whose subdivisions include Northeastern, Central, and Western Neo-Aramaic, as well as another language, dependent on the country of residence. The Assyrians claim descent from one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating at 2500 BC, in ancient Mesopotamia
The areas that form the Assyrian homeland are parts of present-day northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria. The majority have migrated to other regions of the world, including North America, the Levant, Australia, Europe, Russia and the Caucasus during the past century or so. Emigration was triggered by such events as the Assyrian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the Simele Massacre in Iraq in 1933, the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Arab Nationalist Ba'athist policies in Iraq and Syria such as the al-Anfal campaign of Saddam Hussein, and the rise of ISIS and their takeover of most of the Nineveh Plains.
Assyrians are predominately Christian, mostly adhering to the East and West Syrian liturgical rites of Christianity. The churches that constitute the East Syrian rite include the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, and Chaldean Catholic Church, whose followers mostly speak the Northeastern branch of East Aramaic. Whereas the churches of the West Syrian rite, the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriac Catholic Church, mostly speak the Central and Western branches.
Most recently, the 2003 Iraq War and the Syrian Civil War that began in 2011 has displaced the regional Assyrian community, as its people have faced ethnic and religious persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists.