Pope: It’s ‘unacceptable’ that civilians must pay the price of Syrian conflict
Pope Francis expressed his concern at how many defenceless civilians are forced to “pay the price” of the ongoing Syrian crisis, and declared his solidarity for those affected.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square from the Apostolic palace, Francis said “Sadly, news of civilian victims of war continues to arrive from Syria, especially from Aleppo.” He added “It is unacceptable that many unarmed persons – even many children – must pay the price of the conflict.” The price, he said, is that of “closed hearts and the absence of the desire for peace” on the part of the powerful.
Pope Francis expressed his solidarity to his “Syrian brothers and sisters.” He felt close to them in prayer and entrusting them to the “maternal protection of the Virgin Mary.” He then invited the crowds assembled in St Peter’s Square to spend a moment in prayerful silence, before leading them in the Hail Mary.
The city of Aleppo has been besieged for weeks by Syrian government forces, although rebel fighters have announced that they have put an end to it. Around 250,000 are estimated to have been living in the besieged city.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more displaced over the course of the civil war between Syrian rebels and government forces, which is currently in its fifth year.