'Renounce Assad, change your beliefs if you want to live,' Al-Qaeda tells Syrian Alawites

By REUTERS
May 27, 2015 22:46

 
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Al-Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front said members of the Alawite minority sect should renounce President Bashar Assad and change their beliefs in order to be safe, the group's leader said in footage broadcast on Wednesday.

"If they drop weapons, disavow Assad, do not send their men to fight for him and return to Islam then they are our brothers," Abu Mohamad al-Golani told Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera in a rare interview. Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Golani said Alawites were part of a sect that had "moved outside the religion of God and of Islam." He said his Sunni Muslim militant group was not at war with Christians.

It was not clear where the interview took place and Golani's face was not shown.

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