Kessab is the only remnant of historic Armenian Cilicia outside Turkey that is inhabited by Armenians. Its depopulation hit a nerve among Armenians, rekindling in them deep-seated sentiments against past atrocities.
In the recent five or six decades many Kessabtsis have distinguished themselves as professionals, artisans, authors, educators, clergy and community leaders. Their prominence in the Diaspora surely helped stir the emotions of Armenians worldwide. Social celebrities also joined in promoting the hashtag. As a symbol of solidarity, the #SaveKessab hastag became the profile pictures of many in the Facebook coloring social media pages red. These efforts succeeded to draw international attention to the plight of Kessabtis, to the ferocity of the Syrian Civil War and to Turkey as well.
Without the assistance of the Turkish government heavily-armed extremists, many of them not Syrian, couldn't have crossed the Turkish border. The onslaught on Kessab weeks before Armenian Genocide commemorations on April 24 could not have happened otherwise.
The Latakia Armenian community immediately came to their aid and offered them food, clothing, and shelter. The suddenness and ferocity of the early morning attack and the need to flee as soon as possible had necessitated that Armenians leave with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing.