scolds West for hasty declaration of war against Syria before UN probe is
chapel inside The Vatican—Photo
by Joseph Earnest
Media VATICAN CITY—The Vatican's official
daily has criticized Western powers for escalating their war rhetoric
against Syria despite an ongoing UN investigation into a recent alleged
chemical attack near Damascus.
"The tones are becoming ever more drastic and the action
being taken by the United Nations appears subjected to a sort of
crossfire," the Osservatore Romano newspaper wrote on Tuesday.
The daily said that "various international actors appear no longer
to consider the investigation a determining factor," adding that "what
commitment there was" to a negotiated settlement "appears to be dying
On Thursday, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations
in Geneva called for caution over opposition allegations that the Syrian
government was responsible for the attack.
"There should not be a judgment until there is sufficient proof," Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said.
"What immediate interest would the government in Damascus have in
causing such a tragedy?" he asked, adding that the real question is "who
really benefits from this inhumane crime."
Pointing to the havoc caused by the US-led wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, Tomasi said that "armed intervention does not bring any
The call for military action against Syria intensified after the
foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President
Bashar al-Assad of launching the alleged chemical attack on militant
strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem challenged the
United States and its allies to present evidence that the government had
used chemical weapons.
"We are hearing war drums around us. If they want to launch an
attack against Syria, I think using the excuse of chemical weapons is
not true at all. I challenge them to show what proof they have," Muallem
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According
to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and
millions of others displaced in the violence. Add