A senior Russian official has confirmed that twenty churches have been destroyed as a result of the air strikes on Aleppo. Reports are that a prominent Syriac Catholic church in Aleppo sustained significant damage in a shell attack, earlier this month. Aleppo has become the main battle ground of a conflict as the Syrian forces try to capture rebel districts of Syria’s largest city. At least more than 250,000 civilians are trapped, inside the city.
In this regard, the deputy chairman of the Commission for UNESCO of the Russian Federation and the Committee for Russian-Syrian cooperation, Alexander Dzasokhov stated: “It is a magnificent city in Syria Aleppo that was famous not only for its renowned architecture and cultural sites, but it was a place where Christian aspect of this long-suffering nation has always been present. It suffers great destruction now. According to the recent data, twenty churches were destroyed there.
I do not exaggerate. That is why the necessity to preserve Syria as a country with a lot of historical and exemplary things is the task not only for the persistent, courageous and worthy Syrian people, but all other peoples and states.”
According to Father Hilal there were about 27,000-30,000 Christians in Aleppo. The Christian population made about 60 percent of total population of the city before the war, however, the numbers have nosedived as masses of Christians have fled. Those left behind were unable to flee because they had little resources.
He further portrayed the current situation in the once hustling city as saying: “From midnight until morning it is black – a dark city – nothing happens in Aleppo. Electricity is highly limited,” he explains, “with generators giving people no more than two hours of electricity a day.
Without electricity we couldn’t have warmth and a lot of people couldn’t go to their job also and the city is divided between two sides: Between the opposition and the government, then people couldn’t move from one side to the other side. And a lot of people couldn’t go from here to there, from there to here, to get to their jobs – and so they lost their jobs, they lost their houses.”