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VATICAN INSIDER STAFF
“About a thousand Christians among Greek-Orthodoxs and Roman Catholics are trapped in the small village of Yaakoubieh, all Christian, in the north of Aleppo. They are completely worn out, with no food, no electricity, lack of basic necessities, and find themselves in the midst of heavy fighting between loyalist forces and opposition groups,” Fides news agency reports.
“They are unable to leave the village and ‘are in terrible condition, where they risk extinction,’” warned Franciscan friar Fr. François Kouseiffi OFM cap, pastor of the Church of San Francesco in Hamra (Beirut), in a statement toFides. Fr. Kouseiffi deals with the care and assistance of about 500 Syrian refugees.”
I profughi hanno riferito a padre Kouseiffi la tragica situazione del villaggio di Yaakoubieh, da cui molti provengono, e dove restano molti dei loro parenti. Prima della guerra nel villaggio vivevano circa 3.000 cristiani fra armeni, ortodossi e cattolici, ora sono quasi tutti fuggiti. Nel villaggio ci sono tuttora delle suore francescane che, riferisce il frate, condividono la sorte dei civili. «La situazione è molto grave.
“The refugees have reported to Fr. Kouseiffi the plight of the village of Yaakoubieh, and where many of their relatives are. Before the war there were about 3,000 Christians in the village between Armenians, Orthodoxs and Catholics, and now almost all have fled. In the village there are Franciscan nuns who, says the friar, share the fate of civilians.”
“The situation is very serious,” the pastor said. “The faithful are trapped. We are trying in every way to help them to come to Lebanon. In past days, some of our emissaries left to go there, but the journey is dangerous and, after more than a day’s journey by land, they reached Aleppo. The contacts with the remaining Christians are sporadic. They launched the alarm for their survival. They risk of dying in the general silence.“