WASHINGTON — Two prominent Catholic leaders in Syria criticized the U.S. missile strikes against their nation, wondering why they occurred before investigations into the origins of chemical attacks reported April 4.
But U.S. President Donald Trump said Syrian President Bashar Assad "launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians" and "choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children."
"No child of God should ever suffer such horror," he said April 6, announcing that he had ordered the strike against the air base from which he said the chemical weapons attack was launched.
Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph Younan called the attack an aggression and told Catholic News Service: "It is a shame that the United States administration didn't wait until an honest United Nations investigation was thoroughly made into what is said to be a chemical air strike in Khan Shaykun."
"The agglomerate media and the supremacist policy of the USA just want the killing and destroying conflict in Syria to continue, and this primarily to kill whatever attempt to resolve the bloody crisis," added Patriarch Younan, who was born in Syria and served for 14 years as bishop of the New Jersey-based Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance for Syriac Catholics in the United States and Canada.
Bishop Georges Khazen, who serves Latin-rite Catholics in Aleppo, told the Rome-based Fides news agency he was baffled by "the speed with which it was decided and carried out, without any adequate investigation into the tragic massacre with chemical weapons which took place in Idlib province."