ASIA/SYRIA - Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Roham: to survive the cold weather even the old trees of Mesopotamia are cut off

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - Among the disasters that mark the winter of war suffered by the Syrian people there is the progressive destruction of the environment and in particular of small wooded areas, such as those previously kept in the protected area of Jebel Abdel Aziz in the Syrian Mesopotamia. The warning of this additional effect of the Syrian tragedy comes from the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Eustathius Matta roham, titular of the Metropolitan See of Jazira and Euphrates.
In an appeal sent to Fides Agency, Mgr. Roham said he saw for himself the ruinous effects of the war on the natural heritage in a recent visit to the National Park. "The poor Bedouin from the suburbs of Hassaké" the Archbishop wrote in his appeal, "have cut off the old trees there." Looting took place under the eyes of the guardians of the Park, who did not have the heart to make a stand in front of the reasons of those who sought to survive the cold weather, in a Country where no one finds more fuel to heat homes and power black out happen without stopping.
The deforestation and environmental damage - notes Archbishop Roham - are a side effect of the Syrian catastrophe made of "deaths, destruction, inflation, poverty, immigration, kidnapping." In his message, Mgr. Roham also reports of looting suffered from the homes of Christians who fled from Ras-Al-Ayn, the city on the border with Turkey, which two months ago was at the center of fighting between rebels and loyalist troops. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/01/2013)