Nuns under siege in Syria cry for help: 'Please don't forget us. We need your prayers and your practical help'

The bombs are falling all around them and there is little food to eat, but these brave Carmelite nuns are staying put in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo to do whatever they can to help the city's suffering people.

"The bombs are falling all around us, but we are not going to leave the people in their suffering," said Sister Anne-Francoise, a French nun from a community of Discalced Carmelites in Aleppo, according to Religion News Service. "The people here are suffering and dying."

The nuns are appealing to the international community and Christians worldwide for urgent aid amid continuing fierce clashes between Syrian government troops, supported by Russian air power, and opposing rebels battling for control of Aleppo.

"Please take pity on these thousands of lives, torn apart by war. Please don't forget us. We need your prayers and your practical help!" Sister Anne-Francoise said in an appeal made on Thursday, Aug. 4, through the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Reports said Syrian government troops have completely surrounded rebel-held areas in the northern Syrian city, cutting off all supply lines.

The nuns' convent is on the outskirts of the city in an area where the fiercest fighting is reportedly taking place.

"When the Syrian army attempts to prevent the opposition and other groups from entering the city, the bombing and shelling is really close to us," said Sister Anne-Francoise.

"Thank God, they haven't hit us yet, but we are constantly hearing the shells pass over our heads."

The Carmelite nuns—four of them Syrian and two French—have been sheltering refugee families and supporting other families living nearby with the scarce resources they have.

"By now it is only the poorest of the people who are still left here in Aleppo. So many Christians have left the city during these years of war," Sister Anne-Francoise said.

"We have no water, no electricity, and the fighting is continuing incessantly.

"How can we abandon these people in their suffering? Our presence is important for them."

"The diplomatic solutions have not worked," the French nun said. "We simply pray to the Lord that this war may stop."