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Middle East

Syrians living in London beg Prince of Wales to intervene in conflict tearing apart their homeland

Appeals took place during the Prince's visit to the Syriac Orthodox Church

A group of Syrians living in London have begged the Prince of Wales to intervene in the conflict in their homeland.

During the Prince's visit to the Syriac Orthodox Church today, David Yakoub, who was close to tears, put his hands together and pleaded with the heir to the throne to help

The heir to the throne listened intently as the Mr Yakoub described how his home village of Sadat, was attacked by insurgents who killed people and desecrated the settlement's church.

When he appealed to the prince to help, saying “I ask you to do something”, Charles patted him on the arm in sympathy.

Another Syrian man showed the prince mobile phone images of the destruction in his home village.

At St Thomas Cathedral in East Acton, west London Charles met other worshippers of the Syriac Orthodox Church whose followers are spread across the Middle East from southern Turkey to Syria, Jordan, and parts of India.

Mr Yakoub, 27, who fled to England eight years ago, said after meeting the prince: “Even our Muslim friends won't accept what they are doing to us - they're not Syrian, they just want to kill everyone and that's what they do. We need somebody to do something.

“They've just been to my village Sadat. They went to the village at 6am. They tried to kill a lot of people; they were civilians, they were nothing to do with the war.”

The heir to the throne spent the day meeting Christians from the Middle East to learn about the problems they face.

In Stevenage at the Coptic Orthodox Church centre, he chatted to Syrian Anglican Huda Nassar, 51, Middle East director for the Awareness Foundation, which aims to improve relations between East and West.

“He said it was heartbreaking what was going on in Syria,” she said.

Charles was accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan and the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres throughout his day.

Additional reporting PA