The Bishop of Clifton said that violence against civilians can never be justified

The chair of the international affairs department for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales has called for an end to the targeting of civilians in air strikes in Aleppo.

East Aleppo has once again become a target of Russian and Syrian airstrikes since an assault against the rebel held area began last Thursday. The resurgence in violence follows a week-long ceasefire.

At least 141 civilians have been killed in the airstrikes, including 18 children. Hundreds more have been injured.

On Saturday, the last hospital in east Aleppo was destroyed in an airstrike leaving more than 250,000 people without access to medical care.

Bishop Declan Lang said in a statement: “We are shocked and horrified at the violent attacks on civilian lives, especially women and children, in east Aleppo.”

“The destruction of hospitals and the consequent lack of medical supplies for the victims of violence cannot be justified. We call upon those responsible for conducting the war to respect the lives of all civilians and to work unceasingly for a peace based on justice. War can never be a satisfactory solution to political problems,” he concluded.

Aleppo has been divided in two since 2012. Bashar al-Assad’s government controls the west of the city and rebel fighters control the east.

More than 700 civilians were killed in east Aleppo in October 2016 alone, according to the UN.