While wartime propaganda is as old as conflict itself, the Syrian conflict is a particularly unique case where all combatants heavily use social media, opening a window into a conflict that reporters can barely enter. Kardashian's use of the two hashtags side-by-side, "#SaveKessab" and "#ArmenianGenocide" also suggested she was also linking the flight of most of Kassab's 2,000 residents to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces in the early 20th century. The event is widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey, however, denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest. Kardashian's publicist Ina Treciokas said Kardashian was "just voicing her support for Armenians" and said she had no additional comment. Kassab's residents fled after rebels seized their village on March 23, as part of a rebel offensive in the coastal Syrian province of Latakia, Assad's ancestral heartland. There are no credible reports that rebels killed any residents, or that they inflicted major damage on churches.
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