Militias rampage in Aleppo, some with al-Qaeda flags

Christians fear being used as human shields, prelate says

25 July, 17:54

Syrian rebels near Aleppo Syrian rebels near Aleppo

(ANSAMed) - ROME, JULY 25 - Different armed militias are rampaging through Aleppo, some of them flying al-Qaeda banners, the city is ''under siege'' and civilians have nowhere to run, Qara monastery Mother Superior Agnes-Mariam de la Croix told reporters here on Wednesday.

The militias ''are trying to enter the Christian minority enclave, and people fear another Homs,'' an eyewitness who is a prelate in Aleppo said in a phone conversation with de la Croix.

About 400 Christian families in the Homs neighborhoods of Hamidiyyeh and Al Bustan Diwan were used as human shields by rebel forces a month ago.

''The city is now under siege, overrun by militias coming from the northern border with Turkey, the city's southern exits are blocked and 200,000 civilians have nowhere to flee, except from one neighborhood to another,'' de la Croix said. The militias are infiltrated by foreigners, directed by various outside players, and ''are fighting each other in the streets,'' the mother superior added. As for the government forces which have entered last night in Aleppo, they were called by Sunnites in Aleppo's Salaheddin neighborhood, according to de la Croix. (ANSAmed).