Vatican warns over Syria 'world conflict'

AFP , Monday 2 Sep 2013

Intervention will not decrease violence, risking a conflagration that will extend to other countries: Senior Vatican official

A senior Vatican official on Monday warned the war in Syria could escalate into a global conflict, a day after Pope Francis made an impassioned call for peace.

"The Syria conflict has all the ingredients to explode into a war of global dimensions," Monsignor Mario Toso, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told Vatican radio.

"The solution to Syria's problems is not in armed intervention. Violence will not decrease and there is a risk of a conflagration that extends to other countries," he said.

The comments came as the United States and France sought to build support for strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime over allegations it used chemical weapons against its own people on August 21.

More than 110,000 people have been killed in Syria since an uprising against the regime began in March 2011, according to activists.

Francis called for a day of fasting and prayer on Saturday for peace in Syria, calling on Christians, believers of other religions and non-believers to take part.

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