(Joh 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world.
POPE FRANCIS: “We run the risk of forgetting the suffering which doesn’t affect us personally. May we respond to it, and may we pray for peace in Syria”.
ICN: Syria: Aleppo without water, churches reopen ancient wells
HERALD STANDARD: UN Panel: Syria, Iraq edging into regional war
A U.N. Commission of Syrian war crimes is sounding the alarm that the entire region is on the brink of war. In its latest report Tuesday to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the commission said "a regional war in the Middle East draws ever closer" as Sunni insurgents advance across Iraq to control areas bridging the Iraq-Syria frontier — drawing in Washington and Tehran.
That, along with a fourth year of civil war in Syria and the paralysis of "inaction" on the U.N. Security Council, threatens to topple the region, according to the four-member commission. The panel is investigating war crimes and other abuses in Syria, where President Bashar Assad was re-elected to another seven-year term in a highly contentious vote held amid fighting that has killed more than 160,000 people.
"The conflict in Syria has reached a tipping point, threatening the entire region," said the head of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, Brazilian diplomat and scholar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, in a speech to the 47-nation rights council in Geneva. The atrocities and terrorist attacks in northern Iraq by forces affiliated with the al-Qaida-inspired militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, will likely draw in more foreign fighters and other outside involvement, the commission said. It said the Sunni Muslim militant group has shown itself "willing to fan the flames of sectarianism both in Iraq and Syria."
Syrian opposition groups and extremists like ISIL and Al Nusra Front are fighting each other for control of the region while also battling the Syrian government, which benefits Assad, according to the commission.
"We are possibly on the cusp of a regional war," commission member Vitit Muntarbhorn, a Thai professor who has investigated human rights in North Korea, told reporters. "That is something we are very worried about."
REPORT: Demographic Upheaval: How the Syrian War is Reshaping the Region
AMERICAN SPECTATOR: IRAQ BREAKS APART- And it can't be put it back together again.
STRATFOR: The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq's Jihadist Uprising
ACN: Iraq - Foreign intervention won't help
A local Catholic has stated that the international community should not intervene in the struggle against ISIS extremists in Iraq, insisting that the priority is for Iraqi leaders to "work together" to overcome the crisis.
In an interview today with international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Archbishop Jean Sleiman of Baghdad stressed that political “consensus” within Iraq would be critical in overcoming the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which last week pulled off a series of military takeovers of key northern cities including Mosul, the country’s second-largest city.
Speaking from Baghdad, the archbishop described how many people were trying to leave the city, fearing an onslaught from ISIS amid reports of it pressing south towards the capital. He reported that, with many roads out of the capital blocked, departures from Baghdad’s airport were fully booked until the end of the month.
The archbishop, who became Latin-rite Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad in 2001, said, “In responding to this crisis, the international community should think of the common good, not their own interests. They should think of peace.”
RELATED EDITORIAL: Hands Off Iraq
ICEJ: Christians Facing Increasingly Desperate Situation in Iraq
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Nothing Done For Show
16. Ammon (of the place called Raithu) brought this question to Sisois: 'When I read Scripture, I am tempted to make elaborate commentaries and prepare myself to answer questions on it. ' He replied, 'You don't need to do that. It is better to speak simply, with a good conscience and a pure mind.'
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