Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri reiterated his call for jihad against the Syrian dictatorship in a message posted on the Internet yesterday. The conflict in Syria pits the Assad regime, Iran and Hezbollah against the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and the Arab states. Non-Islamist Syrians desiring genuine democracy, including the Christian minority, are caught in-between.
Zawahiri tells Muslims to support the uprising “with all that he can, with his life, money, opinion, as well as information.” The message comes after 25 were killed and 175 were wounded in two suicide bombings in Aleppo of security service buildings. The attacks are believed to have been directly ordered by Ayman al-Zawahiri and carried out by Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq.
He is especially concerned about how foreign powers will influence the Syrian opposition as it looks for outside help.
“Our people in Syria, don’t rely on the West or the United States or Arab governments and Turkey,” Zawahiri says.
His video was released on the same day that the Arab League asked the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force into Syria and agreed to “materially” support the opposition, likely paving the way for military assistance to the Free Syria Army that is fighting the regime’s forces.