'Violence Begets Violence,’ Pope Tells Aid Agencies Working In Syria, Iraq

'Violence Begets Violence,’ Pope Tells Aid Agencies Working In Syria, Iraq

 Pope Francis said the world must not look away from countries in the Middle East who are striving for peace and that the continuing use of violence in the region will not help resolve disputes.

Addressing representatives at the Vatican from various Catholic aid agencies and charitable organizations who work in Iraq and Syria, the Pope said "violence begets violence" and he said he would not stop in his efforts to urge the international community to renew their efforts to achieve peace.

''Violence begets violence, and we have the impression of being caught up in a spiral of arrogance and inertia from which there is no escape," Pope Francis said.

"This evil which grips our will and conscience should challenge us. Why, even at the cost of untold damage to people, property and the environment, does man continue to pursue abuses of power, revenge and violence?" he said.

Russian or Syrian warplanes knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged Syrian rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday (September 28) and ground forces intensified an assault in a battle which the United Nations said had made the city worse than a slaughterhouse.

Two patients died in one of the hospitals and other shelling killed six residents queuing for bread under a siege that has trapped 250,000 people with food running out.

''Beyond the necessary humanitarian aid, what our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq want more than anything else today is peace. And so I will never tire of asking the international community for greater and renewed efforts to achieve peace throughout the Middle East, and of asking not to look the other way,'' Pope Francis said.

The week-old Syrian assault, which could herald a turning point in the war, has already killed hundreds of people, with bunker-busting bombs bringing down buildings on residents huddled inside. Only about 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of wounded a day.