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Assad calls Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Muslim tradition a threat

Jan. 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad warned Wednesday against Saudi Arabia's political and religious ideology, Syrian state television reported.

In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Assad called Wahhabism, an ultraconservative Sunni Muslim tradition predominant in Saudi Arabia, "a threat to the world," the Middle East News Agency said.

The comments came amid Syria's ongoing opposition to Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the Syrian revolt against Assad.

Syrian state television reported Assad told Zarif, "the Syrian people, and some people, in the region, know how serious the threat posed by Wahhabism is, and everyone must contribute to the confrontation against it, and to eradicating it from the root."

Assad is a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam.

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