U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses a news conference following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that Syria's descent into war could have been avoided if regional powers had not used the conflict as a battlefield to settle scores.The conflict in Syria began as street protests calling for political change that were met with repression, but the destruction that engulfed Syria "was not inevitable," Ban said.The Syrian government could have responded peacefully to calls for change but regional powers are also to blame for fueling the war, he said.Ban renewed his call for the U.N. Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for war crimes prosecutions.More than 270,000 people have been killed in the war in Syria that has displaced half of the country's population and triggered a refugee crisis in Europe.
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