(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US Department of State said Friday it is "deeply troubled" by recent fighting and violence that is endangering the Armenian community in Kesab area, northwest Syria, forcing many to flee
"There are far too many innocent civilians suffering as a result of the war. All civilians, as well as their places of worship, must be protected," Deputy Spokeswoman of the Department Mari Harf told reporters
"The violence I'm talking about is being perpetrated by groups like ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, so not the moderate opposition, not the folks we work with repeatedly and consistently on things inside Syria. "I think that the opposition has been very clear in condemning extremism and saying they will fight extremism inside Syria," she added
Harf indicated yesterday President Barack Obama spoke with Pope Francis in Rome in which they discussed plight of minorities including Syrian Christians
"We deplore continued threats against Christians and other minorities in Syria," stressed Harf
She confirmed that there have been some statements by groups fighting in Kesab saying they will not target civilians and respect holy places. Harf expects, "those commitments to be upheld." "The United States will continue its steadfast support to those affected by violence in Syria and throughout the region, including Syrian-Armenians," she added
Christians make up about 10 percent of the Syrian population according to the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.