The sanctions have affected rebuilding after more than a decade of civil war and have hampered humanitarian work in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the region on Feb. 6, along with its multiple aftershocks.
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The trip takes place as Pope Francis continues his appeals for both prayers and concrete aid to the suffering people of Turkey and Syria, reeling from the aftermath of the multiple strong earthquakes on Feb. 6.
Christian Leaders in Syria Call for an End to ‘Unjust’ Sanctions That They Say Hamper Aid to the Needy
According to the latest available estimates as of midday Wednesday, the 7.8-magnitude quake has left at least 11,600 people dead in Turkey and Syria.
In Syria, many cities and towns with a significant Christian population, such as Aleppo, Homs, Lattakia, and Hama, suffered major damage.
Among the many victims, the body of Father Imad Daher, a priest of the Greek Melkite Catholic Parish of Our Lady, was found under the rubble — after many hours of searching for the priest.
The Mass of consecration took place in St. Francis of Assisi Roman Rite Cathedral on the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparition at Fatima.