Leader: No Shiite-Sunni War in Iraq
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Saturday dismissed as a “lie” the speculation fueled by enemies of Islam that the ongoing turmoil in Iraq is a confrontation between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
In an address to a gathering of families of Iranian martyrs here in Tehran on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei lashed out at the adversaries for their falsified interpretation of a Shiite-Sunni war in Iraq, and underlined, “This war is between terrorism and counter-terrorism, a war between proponents of objectives of the US and the West and supporters of the independence of nations, and a war between humanity and barbarism and savageness.”
The Leader made clear that the violence in Iraq is indeed committed by the “remnants and followers” of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who are accompanied by a number of "ignorant people."
Imam Khamenei explained that the arrogant powers are trying to incite Shiite-Sunni strife in order to ease their concerns about the Islamic Awakening movement which has already swept across the Middle East and north Africa since 2011.
“Today, the enemies of Islam have invested in waging civil wars among the nations to pit the people against each other under ethnic and religious titles.”
Cautioning against the attempts by enemies of Islam to stir Iraq-like unrest in other countries, the Leader added, “The nations should monitor such moves vigilantly and know that the enemy has no compunction about doing anything to ruin the Muslims’ independence and dignity.”
The Leader’s remarks come amid escalating security in Iraq following lightning attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.
ISIL militants, who want to establish a caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria, have stormed largely unopposed across much of northern Iraq, capturing four cities, including Mosul and Tikrit, seizing several border crossings with Jordan and Syria and advancing to within some 100 km of the capital Baghdad.
The terrorists’ attacks have reportedly forced more than half a million people in Nineveh Province to flee their homes.
Following Iraqi top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s religious decree (Fatwa) which called on Iraqis to take up arms against terrorists, nearly 1.5 million Iraqis have volunteered to join battles against the al-Qaeda-linked militants. The volunteers consist of people from all walks of life including retired officers.