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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





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Targeted rockets kill seven Syrian Christians in weekend offensive

February,18 2016

Scores of rockets fell on the Christian areas of Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, over the weekend (13 and 14 February), killing seven Christians, wounding many more, and devastating buildings.

Many of those killed last weekend were young people, one of them just 13 years of age in Aleppo. The force of the rocket threw the young teenager from the apartment, still in his bed, and killed him. His parents remain in a critical condition in intensive care.

On the evening of 13 February, two young university students were among those killed, and on 14 February, three people were killed and four injured. The rockets hit only the Christian areas of the city. Two large building blocks were completely destroyed and are now uninhabitable.

Earlier in February, a renewed offensive in Aleppo left around 100 apartments in Christian areas badly damaged on 10 February. The families living in the damaged flats have had to leave their homes and flee for safety, but they have nowhere to go.

A senior church leader in Syria told Barnabas that an estimated 40% of Christians in Syria have been forced to leave their homes since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. Some of these are living in other parts of Syria and some have fled into other countries. In capital city Damascus, where the situation is more stable, the number of Christians living there is growing, he says, as Christians from other parts take refuge there.

A new report compiled by the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR) reveals the scale of the disaster across Syria. According to the report, 11.5% of Syria’s population has been killed or wounded since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011. Out of those killed, around 400,000 died directly as a result of violence and a further 70,000 due to lack of healthcare, medication, food, clean water, sanitation and decent shelter. The economic situation of the country is desperate, too. Around 13.8 million Syrians have lost their source of livelihood and the prices of basic goods increased by 53% in 2015.


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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 18 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

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E-mail: bishopric@soc-wus.org


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