Syria: Archbishop condemns Turkish military offensive

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart

Source: Vatican News/SIR

The Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart has expressed grave concern following the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria.

In an interview with SIR news agency, Archbishop Jeanbart said he fears "a slaughter and many innocent deaths."

While the Turkish President has called the attack "Operation Peace Spring", designed to creating a "safe zone" in Syria, cleared of Kurdish militias, Archbishop Jeanbart, said: "It is terrible."

He said the Turkish plan for a 40 kilometre-wide strip would run along the entire 500 kilometre-long border between Syria and Turkey. The Archbishop said this is would lead to the creation of a extra-territorial pocket within another nation.

He pointed out that: "this area would occupy one of the most resource-rich parts of Syria, with water, oil, gas and fertile land."

He also commented on Turkey's purported aim to transfer some two million Syrian refugees currently hosted by Turkey into the so-called "safe-zone," a move he said that would risk causing a "demographic earthquake, displacing Kurds from their homes and lands and creating the conditions for serious internal tensions."

"It would be inhumane," he said, appealing for a political solution. Instead, he said: "A military solution has been chosen" and this leads to "the risk of a real massacre with many innocent deaths."

Rather than yield, Jeanbart said, the Kurds will fight until the end.

"I hope that dialogue can be resumed in order to find a peaceful solution, a compromise that guarantees safety for all parties involved," he concluded.

Tags: Syria, Turkey, Greek-Melkite, Archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, Kurds, Kurdish

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.