Mesopotamia Freedom Party
or Gabo d’Hirutho d’Bethnahrin
(GHB), formerly known as Patriotic Revolutionary Organization of Bethnahrin
(PROB) or Bethnahrin Patriotic Revolution Organization
is a militant Assyrian
party, whose stated aim is to create an independent Assyrian state in a territory called Beth Nahrain
, a reference to the Assyrian homeland
. It has been labed as a terrorist group by the Turkish government
. It is an ethnic secessionist organization that uses force and the threat of force against military targets for the purpose of achieving its political goal. The group has a youth wing as well dubbed "Free Youth of Bethnahrin."
The group carried out its first attack against a KDP
military compound in the town of Kasre on July 17
, where 39 Peshmerga
fighters were killed and 20 injured. Three days later a second attack was carried out by the group in which several of Barzani's fighters were killed when an army truck driving on a bridge between Kasre and Haci Umran was blown up by the PROB. The group claimed both attacks were to avenge the death of Assyrian Helen A. Sawa, who was killed by the Peshmerga.
On July 24
, approximately a hundred members of the PROB forced entry in a governmental building in Lausanne
. The occupiers aimed to attract the attention of the media and the Swiss government as talks between Turkey and the EU
began. The group demanded three points:
- In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne denied the Assyrian people in Turkey their national rights. This treaty has been the cause for the denial of their existence as a people, hence today the Turkish government does not consider Assyrians as an ethnic minority.
- The continuing oppression and injustice on the Assyrian people in Turkey.
- The international recognition of the Assyrian people.