Syria’s Grand Mufti Shiekh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun in a video posted on YouTube, said suicide bombers were present in the United States, France and Britain and ready to strike if Western powers launch a military strike on his country.
“I say this to all of Europe, and I say this to America: We will prepare suicide bombers, who are already in your country, to strike you if you strike Syria or Lebanon. After today, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and the initiator is the aggressor.”
Last week, a son of Shiekh Hassoun was shot dead near Ibla University on the Idleb-Aleppo highway. Authorities said he was killed by “terrorist groups,” but independent observers suspect either extremists dissidents or regime loyalists.
Ahmed al-Jarallah, editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Siyasa, played down the threats by the grand mufti. “The Syrian regime lives in a state of despair and its ambitions are far from is abilities and its potentials.”
“Hassoun is not the first who has warned or threatened; before him, Bashar al-Assad threatened to burn the Middle East in six hours and control oil sources in the Gulf, and foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem warned countries against recognizing the opposition National Council,” Jarallah said.
Formed in Istanbul at the end of August, the Syrian National Council unites all the major known factions opposing Assad’s rule, both inside and outside Syria.
It includes the Local Coordination Committees, an activist network spurring protests in Syria, the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood as well as Kurdish and Assyrian groups.
The formation of the council has been welcomed by Western countries including the United States and France. However, unlike the transitional council set up by Libyan rebels who overthrew Muammar Qaddafi, they have not offered it any formal recognition.