ON THIS DAY in 1918 (21 May) the Battle of Bash Abaran began.

The Ottoman forces looked to make a foray into Yerevan, but were met in Abaran by the Armenian detachments, led by General Drastamat Kanayan.

Prior to the battle, Sedrak Jalalian and Arsen Der-Boghosian, both governors of the region, received word from the Interior Minister, Aram Manoukian, to assess the situation. As they analyzed the Turkish positions, Jalalian declared the Armenians were not to surrender nor leave, but to organize a self-defense. He began to rally all able-bodied Armenian men.

The Turkish forced more than doubled the size of the Armenian regiments, however the Armenians led by Dro Kanayan and Movses Silikyan drove the Turks back beyond Spitak. The result was a decisive Armenian victory, resulting in the deaths of over half of the Turkish 3rd regiment.

The victory at Bash Abaran was a manifestation of Armenian resilience, further providing yet another example to the invading Turks that the Armenian people’s will to exist will always supersede the Turkish dreams of their inexistence.

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