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    » 08/02/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Media carrying papal message, says nuncio in Damascus



    Mgr Mario Zenari highlights the extraordinary nature of state-controlled media broadcasting the pope's words. The country's rulers have come to a dead end and a political solution is urgently needed. A video shows the rebels' ferocity against alleged Assad loyalists.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) - "The pope's appeal for a political solution to the Syrian conflict has struck a chord in the Assad government. In the past few days, it has broadcast the pontiff's message on local newspapers and TV stations," Mgr Mario Zenari, Vatican nuncio to Damascus, told AsiaNews. According to the prelate, the extraordinary release of the pope's words shows "that the country's is at a dead end. The war will not have winners and losers." For Mgr Zenari, "a military victory by the government or the rebels would lead Syria to collapse."

    The situation of confusion and chaos caused by the war is confirmed by recent reports out of Aleppo and other areas affected by shelling and fighting. In the main cities, rebel forces are barely hanging on under the pressure of the army's offensive. However, Both sides have displayed the same ferocity and violence.

    Dramatic images of summary executions and beatings by pro-Assad forces have already appeared. Now, a video was posted online yesterday showing the rebels' own ferocity against an alleged member of the shabiha, the regime's paramilitary militia. Human Rights Watch condemned the act, calling it a possible crime against humanity.

    Local sources confirmed allegations that alleged regime loyalists are being slaughtered, targeted by unusually violent attacks. The methods are the same as those of the army.

    Today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed the army for the slaughter of 43 rebels in Jdaidet Artou (Damascus), an action Syrian authorities took responsibility, claiming however that rebels were killed during military operations.

    Unedited and unfiltered reports have spread the idea that war against Assad was the only solution, sources explain.

    Despite announcements that the regime was on the brink of collapse, its leaders have shown no intention of giving in.

    For experts, both sides will continue fighting so long as they get weapons. The conflict could last another year until the country is exhausted and destroyed.

    "People are uncertain and fearful of the future," Mgr Zenari noted. "The war is affecting the entire country. Even in Damascus, there is little food, work and security."

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that three million Syrians are in a critical situation. An additional 200,000 found refuge in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

    "The political path indicated by the pope is the only solution," the prelate said. "The international community must go back to it and put pressure on rebels and the regime. A serious political compromise is worth more than a senseless and baseless conflict." (S.C.)

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    See also

    10/09/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
    For Caritas Lebanon president, the papal visit is a sign of hope for 100,000 Syrian refugees
    Pontiff will visit the country between 14 and 16 September. Lebanese Christians will be witnesses of peace among Muslims divided by hatred between Alawis and Sunnis.

    11/04/2006 SYRIA
    Easter message of Gregory III urges charity, resurrection for peace for all Arabs

    In the document, there are prayers offered for peace in the Holy Land, Sudan, Iraq, and all other countries in need of peace, security and work opportunities, to put the brakes on emigration, especially of youth, who are the future of the region and the Church in the Middle East and the rest of the world.



    17/04/2014 SYRIA
    Gregorios III to set up a forum for Syrian Christian intellectuals to promote a society based on Gospel values
    In his Easter message for Easter, the Patriarch of the (Melkite Greek Catholic) Church of Antioch renewed his call for a "truce for life" and an end to the war in Syria." Speaking about the pope's upcoming visit to the Holy Land, he extended a hand of welcome to the pontiff, and thanked him for "his prayer for Syria".

    23/02/2012 SYRIA
    The 'Friends of Syria' expected to meet tomorrow in Tunis
    The Arab League, the European Union and the United States are represented at the conference. Although invited, Russia and China will be absent. Homs is shelled for the 20th consecutive day. According to opposition sources, Syrian security forces deliberately targeted the building where two journalists were killed yesterday.

    16/11/2012 VATICAN
    Pope calls on young people to be the "first missionaries"online and among people of their age
    Benedict XVI's message for the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro is centred on the theme "Go and make disciples of all nations". The missionary vocation is topical nowadays, "necessary for our personal journey in faith" even where bearing witness is not possible because of the absence of religious freedom. The pope is grateful "for the great gift of missionaries, who devote themselves completely to proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth."



    Editor's choices

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    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



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