Pope Francis begged today (October 12, 2016) for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, calling for "at least" a truce enabling civilians -- especially children -- to be evacuated, after the rebel-controlled city of Aleppo came under fierce air assault, according to the France 24 website.
"I want to underline and reiterate my closeness to all the victims of the inhumane conflict in Syria. It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, begging those responsible, with all my strength, for an immediate ceasefire," the pope said at his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
The Syrian army said last week it would reduce its bombardment -- after days of attacks that killed hundreds of people and destroyed the largest remaining hospital in the east -- but it began heavy bombing again yesterday.
More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war -- now in its sixth year -- as government forces, anti-government rebels, Islamic State (IS) radicals, Kurdish forces, Turkish forces, Russian airstrikes, and United States and coalition airstrikes continue to take part in Syria's deadly war action.