Pope Francis calls for end to ‘horror and death’ in Syria in Easter sermon

New York [U.S.A.], Apr 17 : While delivering the traditional Easter Sunday Mass sermon in Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an end to the "horror and death" in Syria and prayed for Jesus to help world leaders end the arms trade.

"In the complex and often dramatic situations of today's world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace," the Pope told a crowd of around 60,000 people gathered in a flower-filled St.

Peter's Square, CNN reports. "May he grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade." Addressing the civil war in Syria, the Pope said a prayer for humanitarian workers there.

"Especially in these days, may he sustain the efforts of all those actively engaged in bringing comfort and relief to the civil population in Syria, prey to a war that continues to sow horror and death.

And yesterday, the latest despicable attack on refugees which caused a number of deaths and injuries," he said.

Earlier, the Syrian Army claimed that a U.S.-led airstrike against the Islamic State near Deir ez-Zor killed a large number of civilians, due to the suffocation resulted from inhaling toxic substances.

"The General Command of the army and armed forces said that the aircrafts of the so-called "US-led International Alliance" on Wednesday between the hour 17:30 and 17:50 carried out an airstrike against a position of ISIS terrorists that includes a large number of foreign mercenaries in the village of Hatla to the east of Deir Ezzor, causing a white cloud that became yellow as a result of the explosion of a huge store that includes a large amount of toxic materials," as reported by the SANA news agency.

Meanwhile, the Army General Command stressed that the airstrike of the "US-led International Alliance" killed hundreds, including large numbers of civilians, due to the suffocation resulted from inhaling toxic substances.

This comes amid escalated tensions between the two countries as U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on the Shayrat airfield of the Syrian air forces, believed by Washington to be the base for warplanes that carried out the chemical attack rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun killing 87 people, including many children.

Source: ANI