Syria: ‘Aleppo is starving’

Bishop Antoine Audo SJ
Syria: ‘Aleppo is starving’ | Aleppo, Chaldean bishop, Antoine Audo SJ, President of Caritas Syria,Fr Michel Kayyal, Fr Maher Mahfouz

As fighting continues, the humanitarian situation in Aleppo is becoming more and more desperate. The Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo SJ, President of Caritas Syria said in a statement to Fides: “One lives day by day. I have the impression that people are more and more exhausted. They have all become poor and everyone is always looking for something to eat for himself and his family. In the streets of Aleppo you can see the people that run endlessly with bags in their hand, trying to find a bit of bread … “.

Aleppo was once one of the most prosperous and dynamic cities in the Middle East, but now appears hopelessly scarred by the civil war. The latest emergency that closely involves the Churches in Aleppo is that of hundreds of Christian families forced to flee from the neighbourhood of Cheikh Maksoud, conquered in the last days by the anti-Assad militias.

“On Thursday afternoon,” said Mgr Audo “there will be a Mass for displaced Christians from Cheikh Maksoud, with the priests and bishops who will be able to come. After there will be a distribution of aid for refugees organized by Caritas Syria.”

The Chaldean Bishop said most roads have become off limits. He said: “Yesterday I went to the hospital to visit a person, and I spent several hours to get back home because many roads were closed to traffic. I also learned that many doctors were threatened and forced to flee.”

The fate of Armenian Catholic priest Fr Michel Kayyal and Fr Maher Mahfouz a Greek Orthodox priest, kidnapped two months ago by a group of armed people on the road from Aleppo to Damascus remains unknown.

Mgr Audo said: “The anarchy of the war allows you to perceive in even stronger terms the greatness of human dignity, just when it seems so humiliated. In all this, many seek God and ask Him for peace of heart, in prayer.”

Source: Fides/French Bishops Conference