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Archbishop begs West to intervene in Syria

by Desmond Busteed

In an impassioned plea sent to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart said nobody was hurt in the latest bombardment, which comes on top of blasts which over the past two years have damaged five of the Melkites' 12 churches in the city.

Aleppo has seen some of the worst fighting in the conflict that erupted in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring, with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and rebel groups battling it out for supremacy and large sections of the city reduced to rubble.

"ISIS, which has already killed thousands in the region, is terrifying the faithful in Aleppo," said Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart.

"After [attacks on] Maloula, Mosul, Idleb and Palmyra, what is the West waiting for before it intervenes?

"What are the great nations waiting for before they put a halt to these monstrosities?

"May all of those who believe in... God and all those with compassion for the innocent raise their voice with us and call on civilized countries to take action to bring about peace."

On Tuesday , the United States accused the Syrian military of carrying out air strikes to help Islamic State fighters advance around the northern city of Aleppo, according to messages posted on the U.S. Embassy Syria official Twitter feed.

Vast numbers of people of all faiths are fleeing the region, with reports from Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo last month that Aleppo's 250,000 Christians have dwindled to below 100,000.

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