Sunni clerics call for jihad against Syria's Assad

June 13, 2013 22:21

CAIRO - A congress of leading Sunni Muslim clerics issued a call to holy war on Thursday against the Damascus government and its Shi'ite allies, hardening sectarian confrontation across the Middle East over the Syrian conflict.

Alarmed by reverses for the mainly Sunni rebels since the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah threw its full weight behind President Bashar Assad last month, Sunni religious authorities have stepped up rhetoric that could fuel a wider regional conflict and communal bloodshed in Syria and elsewhere.Concluding a conference in Cairo at which more than 70 Sunni scholarly organizations were represented, a leading Egyptian preacher made a televised statement accusing the rebels' enemies of waging "war on Islam". He urged the faithful to send money and arms to Syria and pursue "all forms of jihad".

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