Pope Francis says civilian victims of Syria's civil war are paying the price for the "the lack of desire for peace by the powerful."
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The pope, speaking Sunday after the traditional Angelus prayer, said that "it's unacceptable that so many helpless — including many children — must pay the price of the conflict, the price of closed hearts and the lack of desire for peace by the powerful."
He cited in particular the suffering around Aleppo, which is at the center of a battle between the rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's government. Rebels have been fighting to break a government siege on rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern Syrian city, where the U.N. says 300,000 people are trapped.