Priest gunned down outside of church

Father Hovsep Bidoyan(Photo: ACN)

A priest has been gunned down outside a church on Monday in a shocking attack.

Father Hovsep Bidoyan, an Armenian Catholic priest from Qamishli, was shot dead at the entrance of a church in eastern Syria. 

He was killed alongside his father while they were visiting the Armenian Catholic Church in Deir Ezzor, a city in eastern Syria, Aid to the Church in Need reported.

The Catholic charity said it was not clear who was responsible for the killing or their motives.

The north-east of Syria was plunged into fresh chaos recently when Turkey launched a military incursion days after Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops. 

The area around Deir Ezzor is home to oil fields that the US has made a priority to secure to prevent them falling into the hands of Russia or the Syrian government, as well as ISIS, which formally used them to generate revenue.