There has been an Armenian presence in Syria for thousands of years. According to the existing testimonies, Armenians appeared on the territory of historical Syria (Asorik) in the 1st century BC, during the reign of Tigranes the Great. In Syria, coins bearing the name and image of the Armenian king were even issued. The first mention of the Armenian community in Damascus dates back to the 7th century, when the city became the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. The number of Armenians in Syria began to increase especially in the 9th-11th centuries, as a result of the forced immigration of a considerable number of Armenians to Northern Syria carried out by the Byzantine Empire, then the fall of the Bagratuni kingdom (1045), the Seljuk-Turkish raids (mid-11th century), and, afterwards, the fall of Cilician Armenia (1375) as well. During the rule of the Ottoman Empire, emigrations of Armenians to different northern areas of Syria, with the center of Aleppo, took place for various military-political and economic reasons. Armenians, who settled here before the Genocide, are known as “arman kadim” (old Armenians), who are mainly Catholic, Arab speaking Armenians.