Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric called for a global war against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Friday, a day after the prime minister said he would welcome Russian air strikes against the group on Iraqi soil.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who has a huge following and can often influence government thinking, was speaking through an aide after nationally televised Friday prayers.
“Battle with Daesh is destined for all Iraqis,” said Sistani, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“But it’s not their battle alone but the whole world, because terrorists target with their dark ideology all humanity, its culture and morals.”
He added: “It’s essential to join together all efforts and expand the parameters of countering this movement”
The United States has led air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, as well as in Syria, for more than a year, but Baghdad has repeatedly called for engagement and air support for Iraqi forces trying to regain territory against the ultra-hardline Sunni group.
Russia began bombing raids in Syria on Wednesday against groups fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, which include ISIS.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday his government would welcome Russian air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, and was receiving information from both Syria and Russia on the group.
Abadi, asked by France 24 television whether he had discussed air strikes with Russia in his country, said: ““Not yet”. He added: “It is a possibility. If we get the offer we will consider it and I would welcome it.”
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر