The head of the Syriac Catholic Church said that the support of Syrian rebels by the United States, Great Britain, and France was tantamount to “fomenting the violence” in Syria “under the pretext of a kind of Arab Spring,” Canadian Catholic News reported.

Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan, who was making a pastoral visit to Ottawa, charged that the Western view of “modernized, civilized rebels” opposing the Assad regime was a “fantasy.”

Paraphrasing the Patriarch’s remarks, the report continued:

These rebels were supplied with arms, he said. Thus, it is up to the West to take measures to stop Daesh (the Islamic State or ISIS). They must provide soldiers on the ground to stop the fighting. Airstrikes are not enough, he said, because Daesh fighters mingle with civilians, making the risk too great.

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