The Syrian American Council strongly condemns Russia for its air strike on the ancient church of St. Simeon in the Aleppo countryside in yet another flagrant violation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement. St. Simeon is the world's oldest Byzantine church, and was designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2011.
Christianity Today, Suspected Russian Air Strike Hits Ancient Church of St. Simeon May 14, 2016.
The Telegraph, Syrian monastery where St. Simeon sat on a pillar for four decades damaged by missile attack May 13, 2016.
While Putin pretends to defend Christians in Syria his actions prove the opposite. The air strike on the church is not surprising given that 63% of the churches targeted in Syria have been hit by the Assad regime and its allies, according to a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, even more than by terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. SAC strongly condemns all groups which target places of worship.
"Assad and Putin are destroying Syria's ancient churches, churches where I used to pray as a child and ones that have withstood for thousands of years" said Mirna Barq, President of the Syrian American Council. "What is more troubling is that the continuing lack of response by the Obama Administration will surely embolden Assad and Putin to continue destroying churches in their campaign against the Syrian people" she added.