Pope makes fresh appeal for peace in Syria
Rome, Oct 13 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis has made a fresh appeal to end to Syria’s “inhuman” and “cruel” conflict, starting with an immediate ceasefire, Vatican Radio reports.
“I want to emphasise and reiterate my solidarity with all victims of inhuman conflict in Syria,” Francis told pilgrims and tourists at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.
“It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, begging, with all my strength, those responsible, that steps be taken toward an immediate ceasefire,” he said.
The truce should be observed for long enough “to allow the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped under cruel bombardment”, the pontiff stated.
Russian-led airstrikes resumed over the past 24 hours, concentrating on targets within the besieged city of Aleppo.
At least 25 people are reported to have died, including children. according to the UK-based Syrian Human Rights Observatory. The Syrian Civil Defence put the death toll at 41.
The bombardments continued on Wednesday and follow a temporary lull called by the Syrian government, in part to allow civilians to leave rebel-held areas in the east of the city.
The UN Security Council is deadlocked over how to respond to the Aleppo crisis, with Russia and the US failing to agree on renewing a ceasefire. No assistance has entered Aleppo since July.