Pope Francis warns of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Syrian rebel bastion

The pontiff said there were still "winds of war" and "unsettling news about the risk of a possible humanitarian catastrophe in the province of Idlib."

Published: 02nd September 2018 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2018 08:17 PM   |  A+A-

Pope Francis (Photo | AP)

By AFP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Sunday warned of a "human catastrophe" in the Syria's Idlib province, the last major rebel bastion which is being shelled by government forces.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been amassing along Idlib's borders for weeks and shelling rebel-held territory on a daily basis, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 

The pontiff said there were still "winds of war" and "unsettling news about the risk of a possible humanitarian catastrophe in the province of Idlib."

Speaking during Angelus prayers, the pope urged the international community and other actors "to make use of the instruments of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations, in compliance with international humanitarian law and to safeguard the lives of civilians."

Idlib is adjacent to Latakia province, the coastal heartland of Assad's Alawite minority and home to the Russian military airport of Hmeimim.

In recent days, Damascus and Moscow have stepped up warnings of an imminent assault on the province, which shares a border with Turkey and is dominated by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance led by the former branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.