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Baghdad Bishop Condones US Air Strikes Against ISIS

Baghdad Bishop Condones US Air Strikes Against ISIS

Today in Rome, the Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, suggested that air strikes are useful as a deterrent measure against the militia of the Islamic State, according to the Italian ANSA news service.

Air raids are a “means,” Warduni said. Moreover, the IS jihadists “sow terror in people’s souls” and “these raids, too, sow a little fear.” The United States launched separate air strikes Sunday and Monday from fighter and attack aircraft in an attempt to assist Iraqi forces combatting against IS militants.

Bishop Warduni stated that that tomorrow morning he will celebrate Mass with Pope Francis and plans to tell him that “in Iraq everyone loves him and are waiting for him.”

Warduni also gave an interview to Vatican Radio today, saying that international help came too little, and “a bit late” for Iraq’s Christians and Yazidi minorities. He complained of a weak government and army in Iraq, which allowed ISIS fighters to overrun Mosul and Nineveh in a matter of hours last June.

In the interview, Bishop Warduni did not exclude the use of force to defeat IS, but focused more on halting arms sales to the militants, cutting off their financed by refusing to buy petroleum from them, and excluding from the international community countries that help the militants.

He acknowledged that an international peace force will also be needed in order to liberate and protect the local population.

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