Saudi Religious Body condemns ‘criminal massacres’ in Aleppo

Saudi Arabia’s top religious body on Tuesday condemned what it said were “criminal massacres” by the Syrian government against civilians in Aleppo and called on the Islamic world to help save fellow Muslims.

The appeal came after the United Nations said it had reports that Syrian soldiers and allied Iraqi fighters had summarily shot dead 82 civilians in recaptured Aleppo districts, and a military source said the last rebel pocket could fall “at any moment”.

“The criminal Syrian regime has committed the ugliest crimes in a way unknown in modern history, where the bodies of the dead fill the streets and under the rubble of destroyed buildings,” the secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

“The savage bombardment harvests lives everywhere, including in hospitals and houses of worship, while the international community is helpless or ineffective to take any decision to deter this criminal machine,” it added.

Western-allied Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, has been among the main supporters of rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Sunni-led Saudi Arabia accuses its arch-enemy, Shi’ite Iran, of trying to extend its influence in Arab lands, including Syria.

SPA said the secretariat appealed to the Muslim world “to rise in support of its causes and stand with all its energy for its rights”.

Qatar earlier called for an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in Aleppo, Doha-based Al Jazeera television reported.


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