Iraq warns Syria war violence could spread to West

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 9:31 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has warned Syria has become the world's main arena for terrorism, which could spread to the West if its civil war continues.

Speaking at a counter-terrorism conference Wednesday in Baghdad, Nouri al-Maliki called on regional states to share intelligence, chase down fugitives and stop clerics who issue religious edicts promoting violence.

"Terrorism has become a global issue that is geographically expanding and its aftershocks will reach European and international capitals in a short period of time."

Now entering its fourth year, the war has killed more than 140,000 people. U.N. figures show it has forced about 2.3 million Syrians to seek refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. Within the country, the U.N. estimated in July that 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes.

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