News / Middle East

Top Syrian Cleric Warns of Suicide Bombs if West Attacks

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun (right), attend a religious festival in Damascus. (File Photo)
Syrian President Bashar Assad and Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun (right), attend a religious festival in Damascus. (File Photo)

Syria's top Sunni Muslim cleric has warned Western countries against military intervention, threatening to retaliate with suicide bombings in the United States and Europe if his country comes under attack.

Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun gave a speech and told the U.S. and Europe that "we will prepare suicide bombers who are already in your countries if you bomb Syria or Lebanon."

The state-appointed cleric and loyalist of Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad spoke to a delegation of Lebanese women who came to offer their condolences for his son's death earlier this month at the hands of unknown gunmen.

Hassoun's comments follow another warning by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, who threatened "tough measures" against any country that recognizes the newly formed opposition Syrian National Council. Moallem called the group "illegitimate."

In Paris Monday, the European Union welcomed the creation of the council, calling it a "positive step forward." French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe met the group's chairman but stopped short of granting the movement formal recognition, saying it was still being formed.

Meanwhile, activists said Syrian troops cracked down on government opponents in the flashpoint city of Homs again Monday after at least 31 people were killed in clashes across the country the day before.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 of those killed Sunday were civilians, including seven people shot dead by government security forces in the Homs region.

In Turkey Sunday, protesters held a small demonstration in Ankara against the death of Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo, who was killed Friday by unidentified gunmen at his home in Syria.

Tammo was a member of the new Syrian opposition council.  His funeral in the town of Qamishli Saturday turned into a mass rally against the Syrian government.  Syrian troops killed five people when they fired into the crowd.  

The United Nations human rights office says more than 2,900 people have died in Syria's anti-government unrest, which is now in its seventh month.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid