Sunni cleric implicitly endorses Western strike on Syria's Assad

By REUTERS
August 30, 2013 19:06

 
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DOHA - A prominent Sunni Muslim cleric offered tacit support on Friday for any Western strike on Syria in response to an apparent chemical attack on civilians, suggesting foreign powers were God's instrument for vengeance.

"We wish we were able to take revenge for our brothers who have been killed...in their hundreds, but God prepares those who would take revenge for them," Egyptian-born Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi said in his weekly sermon from Doha, where he lives.

The United States and France are contemplating military action to punish President Bashar Assad's government for last week's gas attack in which hundreds of people were killed in the outskirts of Damascus. Syria has denied using chemical weapons.

"We ask God to punish them for what they have done. They deserve what is happening to them," Qaradawi said, referring to Assad's forces, in a sermon broadcast on Qatar state television.

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