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A boy rides his bicycle in front of damaged buildings in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib A boy rides his bicycle in front of damaged buildings in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib  (AFP or licensors)

Pope appeals for an end to the suffering in war-torn Syria

Pope Francis prays for the people of Syria, urging that the situation in the war-torn nation be given priority above every other interest.

During his Angelus address on Sunday the Pope’s thoughts turned to the people of Syria. He began by greeting all those who had “come together to express their solidarity with the Syrian people”, in particular, he said, “those who live in Idlib,and in Northwest Syria”.

In a heartfelt appeal, Pope Francis reiterated his “great apprehension for the inhumane situation of these defenceless people, among whom so many are children whose lives are at risk”.

The war in Syria has been going on for 9 years. According to UN officials, the humanitarian crisis there has reached a “horrifying new level”.

This latest crisis was brought on by fighting that has escalated since December, with Syrian and Russian troops attacking opposition forces.

Idlib has seen airstrikes as well as shelling from artillery and ground-based missiles.

Pope Francis concluded his appeal in prayer, urging that this situation be given “priority in respect to every other interest” and stressing the importance that we do “not look away from this humanitarian crisis”. 

08 March 2020, 12:18