The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo, has warned in an interview yesterday with Missionary International Service News Agency that the "tragic situation" in his country could escalate into a world war if foreign military forces become actively involved there. “The only road to peace is dialogue, war will not take us anywhere,” Bishop Audo said. “People live in anguish, not knowing what awaits them, and this has been happening during the two years of conflict.”
“I have seen thousands of civilian victims of the violence,” declared the Catholic prelate. “We are in need of someone that brings us hope for peace, not a new charge of hatred.” Bishop Audo said that dialogue can happen if the will is even remotely present, saying “if there is will, dialogue is always possible, even in the darkest situations. Even in Syria there are alternatives to war.” Catholic News Agency reports Bishop Audo as saying that foreign military action could lead to a third world war. “If there were a military intervention, in my opinion this means world war.”
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Audo said that many people in the city where he governs the local Church are starving. "One lives day by day. I have the impression that people are more and more exhausted. They have all become poor and everyone is always looking for something to eat for himself and his family. In the streets of Aleppo you can see the people that run endlessly with bags in their hand, trying to find a bit of bread ..." Bishop Audo said that many of the so-called "anti-Assad" militia forces are actively persecuting Christians, and many have been displaced.
"On Thursday afternoon, there will be a Mass for the displaced Christians from Cheikh Maksoud (a neighborhood of Damascus), with the priests and bishops who will be able to come. After there will be a distribution of aid for refugees organized by Caritas Syria," the bishop said.