Sistani says Iraq needs outside help to fight Islamic State

September 19, 2014 13:58

Iraq's most important Shi'ite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani endorsed international intervention against Islamic State in the country on Friday, following U.S. and French air strikes, but called for strict guidelines.

"Even if Iraq is in need of help from its brothers and friends in fighting black terrorism, maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its decisions is of the highest importance," Sistani's spokesman Sheik Abdul Mehdi Karbala'i said during a Friday sermon.Sistani speaks for millions of Iraqis and has a worldwide following.

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