by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio for VT Mediterranean
Two were killed and 12 others were injured in Syria on Sunday, July 24, in a rocket attack during the inauguration of the Orthodox Church of Saint Sophia. The church, called Aya Sofia in Arabic, is located in the town of al-Suqaylabiyah near Hama (central Syria).
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) confirmed the attack, saying it was possibly a shelling or a drone attack by rebel factions, positioned in nearby areas. The explosion took place 15 meters from the families and the archbishops of Hama, Nicolas Baalbaki, and Homs, Georges Abou Zahem, gathered in front of the building.
Violence and terrorism
The attack comes two days after Russian bombings killed seven people in the Idleb region, the country’s last major jihadist and rebel stronghold. Nearly half of Idleb province, as well as parts of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces, are controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.
This area is also home to rebel groups, supported to varying degrees by Turkey, and other jihadist associations, such as Houras al-Din. Fides news agency reports that prior to the Syrian war, about 20,000 Orthodox Christians lived in Suqaylabiyah.
The new Saint Sophia Church was built with funding from the Suqaylabiyah municipal authorities, after the Turkish government turned the iconic Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul into a mosque. It is a miniature replica of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The new church was built with the agreement of the Syrian government and the support of Russian political and military sectors.
Fabio is Director and Editor of Gospa News; a Christian Information Journal.
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became deputy director of a local newspaper and specialized in judicial reporting.
For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime.
With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians.
In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence. He is a correspondent from Italy for the French news site Reseau International.
He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator.