Ambiguity surrounds destiny of Italian priest in Syria



ARA News

The fate of the missing Italian Catholic cleric Paolo Dall’Oglio in Syria is still unknown. Several recent reports include news on Paolo’s death, but his death has not been confirmed yet by the headquarters of the church in the Vatican or by the Italian Foreign Ministry −which assured that it is working to verify Paolo’s death. 

Enrico Letta, the Italian Prime Minister, commented on the news about the death of priest Paolo in a press conference saying: “Unfortunately, there is no confirmation yet on Paolo’s death, we are eagerly looking for information.” 

The Italian media quoted Syrian activists saying that priest Paolo entered Syria through the Turkish border on Sunday, July 28, on the purpose of negotiating the release of the working team of the opposition-linked Orient TV. However, after meeting the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Italian priest disappeared. 

Some later reports said he had been meeting the al Qaeda-linked fighters to agree on a truce with the Kurdish brigades in the northern area.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed the death of priest Paolo in a report released by the Observatory this week.

“Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria have killed an Italian Jesuit priest who disappeared in the east of the country late last month,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday. 

Dall’Oglio had served for three decades at the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, or Deir Mar Musa, before being expelled from the country in 2012. Since then he had returned to Syria at least twice.


Source: ARA News

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