Monday, November 21, 2016

This Deliberate Tactic of Cruelty

Children from the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo

While Americans argue about how best to protect ourselves from the marginal risk posed by giving asylum to Syrian refugees in our country,  the catastrophic war against civilians in Syria continues.

Today the United Nations Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Aid, Stephen O'Brien told the UN Security Council that 974,080 people in various parts of Syria are now living under siege.  (Just six months ago that number was 486,700.)  He told them, "Civilians are being isolated, starved, bombed, denied medical attention and humanitarian assistance in order to force them to submit or flee."

He pointed out that this "deliberate tactic of cruelty" was being "mostly perpetrated by the Syrian government forces against civilians."

It's atrocious and intolerable but the Syrian and Russian forces continue to act with such brutality and disregard of international law and humanitarian norms.  It seems futile to pray for an end to the war, for the deliverance of those under siege and for the continued safety of those who have fled their devastated country as refugees.

But it is within our power to intercede in prayer for peace in Syria and so we must,

If you are so moved please give generously to those working so hard inside and outside of Syria to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people.   Here are three, out of the many humanitiarian aid groups that I recommend.

Medicins Sans Frontieres

Catholic Relief Services

Oxfam International

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