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Cardinal attends prayer for peace in Syria service

President Barack Obama's warning the credibility of the international community is on the line if it doesn't deal with the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. On a visit to Sweden, he said the world can't stay silent in the face of such "barbarism" and also said there's no doubt that chemical weapons were used last month.

The only question, he says, is who used them and U.S. intelligence indicates that it was the Assad regime. President Assad is being accused of using chemical weapons against his own people in an attack on August 21st. President Assad denies this claim and has said such an attack would have been "illogical". Speaking in Stockholm after talks with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, President Obama gave a few details of the kind of military intervention he thinks America should take if Congress backs it when US politicians vote next week.

He said:

"What I'm talking about is an action that is limited in time and in scope, targeted at the specific task of degrading his capabilities and deterring the use of those weapons again.

"I discussed our assessment which clearly implicates the Syrian government in this outrage. 

"The Prime Minister and I are in agreement that in the face of such barbarism the international community cannot be silent and that failing to respond to this attack would only increase the risk of more attacks."

The conflict in Syria has dominated the first Prime Minister's Questions of the Autumn with David Cameron again ruling the UK out of taking part in any military action in Syria. The PM told the Commons he regretted last week's vote on possible armed forces involvement which the Government lost.

He said he'll continue to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict:

"Britain should use all of it's diplomatic muscle to discuss with those countries that have backed the regime and to join with those who back the rebels and the opposition to try and bring those talks about."

Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden was at PMQ's:

Mr Cameron also expressed "regret" at Labour's stance over military action in Syria after Ed Miliband accused him of seeking a "rush to war". During PMQs he accused Labour of needlessly blocking even the principle of an armed response to the use of chemical weapons.

He said:

"My only regret of last week is I don't think it was necessary to divide the house on a vote that could have led to a vote, but he took the decision that it was."

Labour leader Ed Miliband defended his stance. He said:

"Last week's vote was not about Britain shirking it's global responsibility; It was about preventing a rush to war."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country may agree to strikes on Syria, if there's proof Assad's regime used chemical weapons.

But Mr Putin said the West must get approval from the UN first: "In line with international law, only the UN security council could sanction the use of force against the sovereign state. 

"Any other pretext or method which might be used to justify force against an independent sovereign state can only be interpreted as an aggression."

Meanwhile, a church service to pray for peace in Syria has been held this afternoon in London after an urgent request from the Vatican's lead Cardinal for suffering Christians in the Middle East. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri is Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and is visiting London. He stopped at the Ukranian Greek Catholic Cathedral, where a special service was held. Father Mykola Matwijiwskyj is the priest there and he told Premier's News Hour more about it:

Yesterday, the UN labelled the humanitarian crisis in Syria the "great tragedy of this century" as figures showed there are now two million refugees - half of them are children - and four million have been displaced in the country.

Janet Symes is Head of Christian Aid's Middle East team, and has met child refugees in Lebanon. She tells Premier about what impact the conflict has had on them:

The crisis in Syria will be discussed by world leaders when they gather for the G20 summit in St Petersburg tomorrow.

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