Guerrills Warfare in Armenia -nyt19150618

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Guerrilla Warfare in Armenia

JUNE 18, 1915

Guerrilla Warfare in Armenia. To the Editor of THE NEW YORK TIMES.

It is a settled rule of international law that protection is never afforded to private individuals who participate in war and to uninformed predatory guerilla bands. "These are regarded as outlaws, and may be punished by a belligerent as robbers and murderers." (Halleck's Int. Law and Laws of War, 386.) That the Armenians at Hosrova have violated the laws of war by waging private war against the Turkish invading army is admitted in the statements made by Elizabeth Macara, and published in THE NEW YORK TIMES: "When the Kurds (in the present war they constitute part of the armed forces of Turkey and are led by Turkish officers) burst the village gates," said Miss Macara, "we took rifles and mounted to the roof. I fired eighty shots. The Kurds were forced to withdraw outside the village wall. There I killed four more, one of whom was the chief. The battle lasted three hours. And all this was done after the Russians had evacuated the piece.

As to how they would be treated by the American Army under similar circumstances I refer to the "Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field," No.100, Sec.82, April 24, 1863, which says: "Men or squads of men who commit hostilities without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, are public enemies, and therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated similarly as highway robbers or pirates." (Moore, Digest Int. Law, Vol. VII. Pp. 174.) A. S. Columbia University.

New York, June 8, 1915.

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922