The Vatican says the protection of minority groups against attacks carried out by ISIL Takfiri militants operating in Syria and Iraq may require the use of military force if a political solution is not found.
During an interview with US Catholic website Crux released on Sunday, the Vatican’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi stressed the need for containing the current “genocide” being perpetrated at the hands of the ISIL extremists.
“What’s needed is a coordinated and well-thought-out coalition to do everything possible to achieve a political settlement without violence,” Tomasi said, adding, however, “If that’s not possible, then the use of force will be necessary.”
The remarks by Tomasi come weeks after ISIL militants released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya on February 15.
Tomasi said in the interview that Christians are not the only minorities that the Vatican wants to protect from ISIL terrorists in the region as the Takfiri terrorists have been responsible for the executions of Arab and Western hostages from different religious minorities.
“Christians, Yazidis, [Shias], Sunnis, Alawites, all are human beings whose rights deserve to be protected,” he said. “Christians are a special target at this moment, but we want to help them without excluding anyone.”
Tomasi stressed that Muslim nations must be included in the fight against ISIL Takfiri militants.
The Vatican had until now been against military intervention in the Middle East.
ISIL militants have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control in Syria and Iraq.