Saudi Mufti Calls for Putting an End to Hizbullah 'Aggression' in Syria

Saudi Arabia's top cleric urged governments and fellow clerics across the Muslim world to punish Hizbullah for its intervention in the Syrian civil war against the mainly Sunni rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad.

Grand mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh said Hizbullah's actions vindicated the Sunni-dominated kingdom's long suspicion of the group and its alliance with Shiite Iran.

"We urge all politicians and clerics to take substantial measures against this detestable sectarian group (Hizbullah) and all those backing it," Shaikh said in a speech carried by the official SPA news agency.

Shaikh welcomed an about-turn last month by influential Qatar-based Sunni cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, who had previously backed Hizbullah, particularly after its 2006 war with Israel.

Qaradawi "has returned to the stance taken by the kingdom's top scholars and which was clear on this sectarian detestable movement ever since it was created," Shaikh said.

"We support" Qaradawi in his stance and call on "all clerics of the Muslim world to stick together and cooperate during this critical moment in history," he added.

In last month's speech, Qaradawi, who has millions of supporters around the Arab world, particularly in the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, said he had been at fault for previously backing Hizbullah and urged Sunni volunteers to join the Syrian rebels.

Hizbullah fighters spearheaded a devastating 17-day assault on the Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border which culminated on Wednesday with its recapture from the rebels.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council -- of which Saudi Arabia is the key member -- warned on Sunday that it could take measures against Hizbullah.

One GCC member, Bahrain, has already ordered steps against the group.

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Wednesday said “Qusayr's achievement dealt a severe blow to the American-Israeli-Takfiri scheme.”

Hizbullah chief Nasrallah had previously justified the group's involvement in Syria by saying they were defending Lebanese-inhabited border villages inside Syria and Shiite holy sites.

But during a May 25 speech marking the 13th anniversary of Israel's military withdrawal from Lebanon, Nasrallah said the Takfiris are the “most prevailing group in the Syrian opposition,” warning against a defeat against them in the ongoing war in Syria.

He said: “If Syria falls in the hands of the Takfiris and the United States, the resistance will become under a siege and Israel will enter Lebanon. If Syria falls, the Palestinian cause will be lost.”

Source: Naharnet

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