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Syria Mufti calls for suicide operations

March 27, 2003 at 1:58 PM   |   Comments

DAMASCUS, Syria, March 27 (UPI) -- Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaro, Syria's Mufti and highest Muslim religious authority called on Muslims Thursday to resort to "martyrdom operations" against coalition forces waging war on Iraq.

Mufti Kaftaro said in a statement that Muslims should use "all possible means to defeat the aggression, including martyrdom (suicide) operations against the invading combatants."

"Resisting the invaders is an obligation on every Muslim man and woman, primarily from among the Iraqi people and then the closest ones depending on the need," he said.

He also called on all Muslims around the world "to boycott the products of the U.S., Britain and their allies," as well as to "escalate protests and demonstrations, to observe strikes in airports and ports (used by the coalition forces) and do everything possible to obstruct support of this unjust war and to defeat it."

In an implicit reference to Kuwait and Qatar, Kaftaro called on the "governments which are offering facilities to the war on the Muslims to stop immediately from backing this war."

"Those rulers are responsible before God, history and people," he said. "The success of the U.S.-British-Zionist campaign will make us face another Nakba (disaster) that would be no less than the Nakba of Palestine and pave the way for establishing a tyrannical empire based on racist and hatred dreams."

Informed Syrian sources tried to ease Kaftaro's appeal, saying he is expressing a personal point of view and that it does not reflect the government's views.

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