'More fighting won't end Syrian horrors'

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has spoken out about the current situation in Syria.

An image released by Syrian opposition shows bodies of children and adults laying on the ground after they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG/WASHINGTON - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has spoken out about the crisis in Syria, saying it requires human and not military intervention.

The world is waiting to hear whether America and its allies will strike against the Syrian government, which stands accused of using chemical weapons against its citizens.

A military strike by the US and its allies would be the most aggressive action by Western powers in the Middle Eastern nation's two-and-a-half-year civil war.

Last week's chemical attack reportedly left hundreds of people, including children, dead.

Tutu says more fighting won't end the horrors in Syria and there's a need to talk about the situation.

He says the time has come to confront difficult topics such as the relationships between the West and the Islamic world and Israel and Palestine.

Tutu says a full blown invasion is simply not worth the risk even if it leads to the capture or possible death of President Bashar al-Assad.

He says a foundation for long-term peace needs to be laid.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama made the case on Wednesday for a limited military strike against Syria, even as he faced new obstacles with British allies and US lawmakers that could delay any imminent action.

While saying he had not yet made a decision on military action, Obama left little doubt that the choice was not whether to act, but when to retaliate for the gas attacks.

However, there are growing signs that the timeline for launching any military strike on Syria could be complicated not only by the UN weapons inspectors' continued presence there, but by the Obama administration's efforts to coordinate with international partners and growing demands for consultation with US lawmakers.

Britain, a key player in any air assault on Syria, changed its stance on Wednesday, saying the UN Security Council should first see findings from international weapons inspectors and the UK parliament would hold two votes before any military action is taken.

*Additional reporting by Reuters