Fear mounts that the US does not understand the rebels’ political agenda to establish a fundamentalist Islamist state in post-war Syria.
A number of Catholic leaders in Syria issued a statement pleading with the U.S. and other Western governments to stop supporting rebel groups.
Published in Catholic World Report, the statement, attributed to Archbishop Jean Clement, the Melike Catholic leader in Aleppo, read: “Please help us to pull our country back from the abyss of the fundamentalist regime in which they are trying to immerse us.
“Just stop selling arms to the terrorists,” begged Father Mtanios Haddad, a Melkite now serving in Rome. Haddad said three crucial actions are needed:
- Stopping the flow of arms from the U.S. to the terrorists
- Stopping the flow of money from Saudi Arabia which funds the terrorists
- Closing the border with Turkey through which the terrorists reach Syria.
The church leaders believe that the U.S. has been given an inaccurate understanding of the dynamics in Syria. “I think that those who control the information in the West have a political agenda,” said Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo.
Clement added the possibility that the Syria could end up being a fundamentalist Muslim state is a nightmare to the next generation. “This is why we turn to our brethren in the West and pray that they may help us prevent this from happening.”