In Syria, Nature Is Also a Casualty

Among the disasters that mark a devastating winter of war in Syria can now be added the progressive destruction of the environment, including small, previously protected wooded areas in Syrian Mesopotamia. Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham, titular of the Metropolitan See of Jazira and Euphrates, saw for himself the ruinous effects of the war in a recent visit to the National Park. “The poor Bedouin from the suburbs of Hassaké,” the Archbishop wrote, “have cut off the old trees there.” The “looting” for fuel took place, he said, “under the eyes of the guardians of the park,” who did not have the heart to intervene because of the obvious need to survive the cold weather. The deforestation and environmental damage, the archbishop said, are a side effect of a Syrian catastrophe that already includes “deaths, destruction, inflation, poverty, immigration, kidnapping.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

February has been one of the most violent months in the seven years of conflict.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 25, 2018
Asia Bibi's husband and her daughter Eisham arrive in the Vatican prior to a private meeting with Pope Francis. (Credit: Vatican News)
The pope said Rebecca Bitrus and Asia Bibi are models for a society that today has ever more fear of suffering.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 24, 2018
(Nick Ansell/PA via AP, archive)
Recent allegations about one of the United Kingdom’s biggest and best-known charities has driven increased demands from some quarters that overseas aid be reduced, if not abolished completely.
David StewartFebruary 23, 2018
Students who walked out of classes from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland protest against gun violence in front of the White House on Feb. 21 in Washington. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)
The desire for stronger gun control may not translate into more caution with gun storage among owners of firearms.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 23, 2018