The Armenian homeland fell under Turkish rule from the 16th century, and with the decline of the Ottomans was divided between Turkey, Iran, and Russia. In 1915 the Turks forcibly deported 1,750,000 Armenians to the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia; more than 600,000 were killed or died on forced marches. Russian Armenia was absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1922, gaining independence as a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1991
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