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.


The latest from america

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018
Did Pope Francis depart from Scripture and tradition in declaring the death penalty "inadmissible"? Or was his declaration rooted deeply in both?
Tobias WinrightAugust 17, 2018