On 22 November Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the international affairs department for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, called for an end to the targeting of civilians in the conflict in Syria, particularly in East Aleppo.
At least 141 civilians, including 18 children, have been killed in a week of renewed bombardment on the rebel-held eastern half of Aleppo which has devastated its hospitals, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday. The monitor said it had documented hundreds of injuries as a result of Russian and Syrian air strikes and shelling by government forces and its allies on the besieged eastern half of the city. The assault began last Tuesday, after a weeks-long ceasefire.
‘We are shocked and horrified at the violent attack on civilian lives, especially women and children, in East Aleppo,’ said Bishop Lang.
‘The destruction of hospitals and the consequent lack of medical supplies for the victims of violence cannot be justified. We call upon those responsible for conducting the war to respect the lives of all civilians and to work unceasingly for a peace based on justice. War can never be a satisfactory solution to political problems.’
At the recent plenary meeting of the Bishops of England and Wales, prayers were offered for the people of Syria and Iraq, particularly in Aleppo and Mosul, and for South Sudan, where the situation is worsening. The Bishops also prayed for the people of Ukraine, where 2million people are displaced in the conflict zones.