September 2018

Great fear in Knayeh and Yacoubieh, Northern Syria: “Anarchy and terror reign everywhere”

The army of Damascus, supported by Russia and Iran, is setting for a military action in the area of ​​Idlib, in the north of Syria, the last bag of resistance of rebel groups who say they are ready to resist until the last drop of blood. Military action could cause a carnage of civilians. This is why the leaders of the foreign actors involved, Russia, Iran and Turkey, have organized a meeting in Teheran to find a peaceful solution. In the meantime, we hear disturbing news from the Franciscan convents of Knayeh and Yacoubieh that are in the area. News of abductions, abuses and much fear for the future.

“We are under pressure, here is the most total anarchy and we are afraid of being kidnapped or killed at any moment”. The Christians of Knayeh and Yacoubieh have been holed up in the house for a month, terrified by the growing tension in the north of Syria. Some of them have already been kidnapped by the jihadist rebels in their last desperate attempt to resist, and they are asking for too high prices to be paid, risking above all to trigger a series of abductions.

Knayeh and Yacoubieh are located in the area of ​​Idlib where we at ATS pro Terra Sancta have opened two emergency centers in these years. The situation is difficult, and the news that comes to us from the two convents of the Custody of the Holy Land in the two cities are worrying. The Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land are the only Christian religious left in Kanyeh and Yacoubieh. Those who had a chance have flled. Now it is no longer possible because the government’s army is closing around the area: the roads are blocked by checkpoints and the first Russian air raids have started to bomb rebel strategic points.

Together with the friars of the Custody, the Association pro Terra Sancta has supported for 260 families (about 1,000 people), through the regular distribution of food, milk powder for children, medicines, vouchers to buy diesel oil for electricity and heating, clothes and other goods of necessity. Many are refugees and some of them even live in the two convents.

For many of these people, the aid provided through the two convents is really the only chance of survival. This is why we continue to monitor developments in this situation with concern, continuing, as long as the situation permits, the distribution of parcels and medicines. We can not leave them alone right now, just as a potential tragedy of immense proportions is about to be consummated.

The last of an infinite series, in an interminable conflict. 

Help Christians in Knayeh and Yacoubieh!

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