Al-Qaida to Syrian rebels: 'Form Islamic state'

An al-Qaida leader released an audio statement calling on Syrian rebels to replace Assad with an Islamic state.

Ayman al-Zawahri 370 (photo credit: reuters)
Ayman al-Zawahri 370
(photo credit: reuters)
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaida, released an audio statement online through the organization’s media branch, as-Sahab, on Sunday calling for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate after the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Islamic state would encompass Arab countries that have undergone revolutions, according to a report by the AP.
Zawahiri also warned France that it was entering an unwinnable war in Mali.
“I warn France that it will meet in Mali, with God’s permission, the same fate America met in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
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“Let your fight be in the name of Allah and with the aim of establishing Allah’s Shari’a [law] as the ruling system,” he said according to the Now Lebanon website.
He called on the Syrian rebels to work to achieve an Islamic state: “Do all that you can so that your holy war yields a jihadist Islamic state.”
Zawahiri also sought to motivate the rebels, stating that the Assad regime is heading toward collapse. This is the first statement released by the al-Qaida leader this year.