ASIA/SYRIA - Archbishop Hindo: the "bribes for the revolution" of the anti-Assad militias

Hassaké - "The militias of the Free Syrian Army and jahidist groups make all vehicles coming from the areas of Damascus and Aleppo carrying goods pay heavy tolls. They say that the money is used to buy weapons, they are like 'bribes for the revolution'. This is why now the prices of food in our cities and in our villages are almost tenfold." This is what was reported to Fides Agency by Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis, in the Mesopotamian province of Jazeera. In the region - which includes the towns of Hassaké and Kamishly - military confrontation between the government army and anti-Assad militias has reached a deadlock. But the surrounding areas are controlled by opposition groups, and the roads leading to Aleppo and Damascus are interrupted. "At the moment, even here the scourge of kidnapping is what causes major suffering for many families. In recent months between Hassaké and Kamishly there have been more than one hundred kidnappings. At one point I myself stopped keeping count. Many of the hostages are still in the hands of the kidnappers," says to Fides Mgr. Hindo. Despite all this, the Archbishop keeps some hope alive in the recent international initiatives put in place to attempt a political solution to the Syrian conflict: "Now – he reports to Fides – everybody lays exaggerated claims on the table. I hope that with time the path of compromise will be found. A solution can only come if international agents, starting from the United States and Russia, will be able to put in brackets the respective interests and take account of the expectations and real suffering experienced by our people." .