ASIA/SYRIA – The Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Roham: the people suffer even when there is no fighting

Monaco (Agenzia Fides) – The suburban areas of northern Syria “are mostly controlled by various insurgent groups.” The military government has abandoned the rural areas to concentrate its presence on the city of Hassaké and Kamishly. “But the people in these two cities have a great fear that fighting could start at any moment. In that case, a large number of children, girls, women and old people will cross the border with Turkey.” This is how Eustathius Matta Roham, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Jazirah and Euphrates, describes the situation experienced by Syrian populations in the north-east governorate of Hassaké, bordering Turkey and Iraq. In a report sent to Fides Agency, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan confirms that churches and all Christian symbols have been destroyed in the city of Ras al-Ayn, and he reports that the military conflict in the area has reached a deadlock, but the whole population is suffering due to the collapse of economic activities and the lack of primary goods. “The systematic practice of kidnapping continues,” says S. E. Roham “and there is a permanent flow of people fleeing to Turkey.”
On Saturday, May 18 Metropolitan Roham met representatives of charitable organizations in Monaco of Bavaria to assess their Christian relief programs in favor of the Syrian people. The meeting is part of a mission to Europe that S. E. Roham is carrying out on behalf of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, also to ascertain the condition in which Syrian refugees who have reached Greece live.
Earlier, during his European Union “mission”, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan had already met with officials of the charitable organizations Misereor, Missio and Aid to the Church in Need, and also Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 23/05/2013).