ASIA/SYRIA - Massacre of Idlib, Bishop Antoine Audo: destabilizing issue, and what carries weight are the interests of the forces involved in the war

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 war crimes   wars   weapons   caritas   oriental churches

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - "In this fragmented situation, with many interests and actors involved, it is difficult to be sure one hundred percent of the way things are. But what we know based on our experience, I just cannot imagine that the Syrian government is so naive and ignorant to be able to do such 'errors'". These are the first considerations that Syrian Bishop Antoine Audo, at the head of the Chaldean Diocese of Aleppo, shares with Agenzia Fides with regards to the bombing with chemical weapons at Khan Shaykun, in the Syrian province of Idlib, in an area still in the hands of anti-Assad militias. The bombing resulted in the deaths of dozens of people, including many children.
Bishop Audo admits that the scenarios of the Syrian conflict are often enigmatic and manipulated by contrasting propaganda: "and already in more delicate passages of the war" adds the Chaldean Bishop, "episodes of use of chemical weapons had a destabilizing effect on the entire framework. Two days ago, US President Donald Trump said that Assad is part of the solution of the Syrian problem. Now he makes statements that say the contrary. There are interests of regional powers involved in the war. We should always take this into account, especially when certain things are repeated with similar dynamics, and trigger the same reactions and the same effects already experienced in the past".
On August 21, 2013 there was a chemical attack on Gutha, in the south eastern suburbs of Damascus in the hands of anti-Assad forces. The attack came after then-US President Barack Obama, about a year before, had indicated the use of chemical weapons as a "red line" for a possible military intervention against Syria.
The Syrian government and anti-Assad militias have always blamed each other for that attack. On Russia's initiative, that phase of acute international crisis - marked by the shadow of an impending direct US military intervention against the regime of Assad - was resolved with the accession of Syria to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the subsequent destruction of the Syrian chemical arsenal, which took place under UN auspices. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2017)