Pope Francis makes fresh appeal for peace in Syria

Rome, Oct 12 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis on Wednesday made a fresh appeal to end to Syria’s “inhuman” and “cruel” conflict, starting with an immediate ceasefire.

“I want to emphasise and reiterate my solidarity with all victims of inhuman conflict in Syria,” Francis told pilgrims and tourists at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square, reported Vatican Radio.

“It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, begging, with all my strength, those responsible, that steps be taken toward an immediate ceasefire,” he said.

The truce should be observed for long enough “to allow the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped under cruel bombardment,” the pontiff stated.

Russian-led airstrikes resumed over the past 24 hours, concentrating on targets within the besieged city of Aleppo.

At least 25 people are reported to have died, including children. according to the Britain-based Syrian Human Rights Observatory. The Syrian Civil Defence, a team of emergency responders and the activist media group Aleppo Media Centre put the death toll at 41.

The bombardments continued Wednesday and follow a temporary lull called by the Syrian government, in part to allow civilians to leave rebel-held areas in the east of the city.

The United Security Council is deadlocked over how to respond to the Aleppo crisis, with Russia and the US failing to agree on renewing a cease-fire. No assistance has entered Aleppo since July.



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