Leading Sunni Muslim clerics have called for a holy war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and his allies.
After a meeting in Cairo on June 13, the clerics issued a statement saying: "The flagrant aggression of the Iranian regime, of [Lebanon’s] Hizballah, and of their sectarian allies in Syria amounts to a declaration of war against Islam and Muslims."
The Sunni clerics said "jihad" must be undertaken "to help our brothers in Syria by sending them money and weapons."
Those backing the call include Abdulaziz al-Shaikh, Saudi Arabia's top cleric, Youssef al-Qaradawi, a high-profile Egyptian preacher based in Qatar, and Hassan al-Shafai, a senior scholar from Egypt's leading religious academy Al-Azhar.
Lebanon's Iran-backed Shi'ite movement has been fighting alongside the forces of Assad, who is a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shia Islam.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP