A year after the fall of Aleppo, Bishop says life is better for Christians

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By Eno Adeogun
The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo has been speaking to Premier about life for Christians a year since the fall of Aleppo.
More than 600 civilians died in the five-week-long offensive before the last rebel-held urban centre in Syria surrendered.

Bishop Antoine Audo, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo told Premier people in his pastoral visits have told him life is better for them since President Bashar al-Assad launched the final assault on the opposition-held east Aleppo.

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Explaining what he’s often told, Bishop Audo said: “First of all we can say there is no more bombing on our part, especially in the west part of Aleppo.

“The second point is that we now have electricity in Aleppo – more than ten hours by day and this is very important to live. We can have a refigirator, we can wash clothes… and it’s the same for water as we have portable water in all the house.

“We have opportunities of work – not too much but there are some factories and small industries… so there is real change.”

While things have improved in Aleppo, Bishop Audo said the same cannot be said for all of Syria.

East Ghouta, a rebel enclave of some 400,000 people in the suburbs of Damascus, is facing the same fate Aleppo faced a year ago.

The area is meant to be covered by a de-escalation zone deal brokered by Turkey, Iran and Russia earlier this year – but monitors and rebels have claimed fighting has continued on many fronts.

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Bishop Antoine told Premier: “It will take time to have a political solution in general in Syria.

“This is what we can say today.”

Listen to Bishop Antoine Audo speaking with Premier’s Eno Adeogun: