Syrian bishop calls on West to intervene in civil conflict

Western intervention is urgently needed to halt the “monstrosities” being perpetrated in Syria and Iraq, according to a bishop whose diocese is at the heart of the conflict.

Even before the rise of Islamic State, Aleppo had seen some of the worst fighting in the Syrian Civil War, with Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo claiming last month that numbers of Christians in Aleppo had falled from 250,000 to under 100,000.

Now, though, Aleppo’s Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart has contacted Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need to describe how his cathedral church, already shelled more than 20 times in recent years, has again been bombarded.

“ISIS, which has already killed thousands in the region, is terrifying the faithful in Aleppo,” he said, asking what it will require for the West to intervene, given attacks on Maloula, Mosul, Idleb, and Palmyra.

“What are the great nations waiting for before they put a halt to these monstrosities?” he asked, adding, “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.”

The archbishop’s comments, in which he said he was standing and lamenting with his people, “violated and murdered”, come after a trip to the United States in which he warned that his Church is in a dire situation and begged for help from Christians and others in the West.