Friday marked Assyrian Martyrs Day, a day to remember Assyrians who lost their lives in defense of their culture and way of life. On this day Assyrians remember the victims of the genocides perpetrated against their nation, such as the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, which claimed the lives of 750,000 Assyrians between 1915 and 1918, as well as the lives of 1.5 million Armenians and 500,000 Pontic Greeks.
Aug. 7 was chosen because of the massacre of Assyrians in August 1933 in the north Iraq. The massacre was conducted by the Iraqi Army and Arab and Kurdish irregulars. Three thousand Assyrians in the town of Simmele were massacred in a three-day period.