Syria: thousands of Christians trapped in North Aleppo

Food and electricity cut off; situation "grave" says priest

10 January, 14:53

(ANSAmed) - VATICAN CITY, JANUARY 10 - Around a thousand Christians including Roman Catholics and those of the Greek-Orthodox faith are trapped in a tiny village in North Aleppo. As heavy fighting rages between loyalist groups and opposition forces, food and electricity supplies to Yaakoubieh have all but been cut off. "They are in a desperate condition; they could be wiped out", Franciscan priest Father Francois Kouseiffi told Vatican news agency, Fides. Kouseiffi is the pastor of a church in Hamas, Beirut, where around 500 refugees from Syria are being looked after. He first heard of the village's plight from the refugees in his church, many of who come from Yaakoubieh. Before the war around 3,000 Christians, including Armenians, Orthodox and Catholics, lived in the village. They have all since fled. According to Kouseiffi nuns are trapped in Yaakoubieh too. "The situation is grave. The faithful are trapped. We are desperately trying to help them come to Lebanon." "Some of our emissaries left a few days ago to go there, but it's a dangerous journey and after a day they ended up in Aleppo".

"Contact with the Christians has been sporadic. They sounded the alarm for their survival, but they could die in the silence. (ANSAMed)
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