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German-speaking prelates comment on possible US military intervention in Syria

August 30, 2013

An Austrian cardinal has spoken out against the prospect of US military intervention in Syria, while a German prelate said that some international response is needed to the use of chemical weapons.

Armed intervention should only be a last resort, said Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. "What good can bombs do in a country already bleeding from a thousand wounds?" he asked.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, the president of the German bishops' conference, took a different stand. Without directly addressing possible US military plans, he said that the international community must respond in some way to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. “These are weapons of mass destruction, whose use is outlawed by international law," he said. "If the crime by Damascus remains unanswered, then an important component of international law will come under pressure, with potentially devastating consequences for international security.”


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