DOHA - Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has urged Sunni Muslims worldwide to join opposition forces in their fight for freedom against tyrant regime of Bashar al-Assad, lashing out at Shiite group Hezbollah for sending its men to fight inside Syria.
"Every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that (must) make himself available" to support the Syrian rebels, Al-Qaradawi said at a rally in Doha, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Saturday, June 1.
The renowned scholar also hit against Iran and its ally Hezbollah for backing al-Assad.
"Iran is pushing forward arms and men (to back the Syrian regime), so why do we stand idle?" he said, branding Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which means the party of God in Arabic, as the "party of Satan".
Hezbollah, a close ally of Iran and the Syrian regime, is openly engaged in the fight against the rebels in Syria.
"The leader of the party of the Satan comes to fight the Sunnis... Now we know what the Iranians want... They want continued massacres to kill Sunnis," Qaradawi said.
"How could 100 million Shiites (worldwide) defeat 1.7 billion (Sunnis)?" he exclaimed.
"Only because (Sunni) Muslims are weak."
Qaradawi angry comments followed declaration last Saturday by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah after he vowed to help propel Assad to victory in Syria's bloody civil war.
Nasrallah also pledged that Hezbollah will turn the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor, and stay as long as necessary to do so.
Fighters of Hizbollah are engaged in fierce battles against the rebels to capture the Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese borders.
The militant group has already lost dozens of its men in the battle for Qusayr.
Earlier this week, the military chief of the main umbrella group of Syrian rebels, the Free Syrian Army, has accused Hezbollah fighters of "invading" Syria.
General Selim Idriss said that more than 7,000 fighters of the Lebanese Shia movement were taking part in attacks on the rebel-held town of Qusair.
The French foreign minister has estimated the number at 3,000-4,000.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has also condemned Hezbollah's involvement in the conflict in Syria.
The leading Muslim scholar regretted for previously backing Hezbollah and Nasrallah, who gained popularity after steadfastly leading his group in the fight against Israel in 2006.
"I defended the so-called Nasrallah and his party, the party of tyranny... in front of clerics in Saudi Arabia," which is wary of neighboring Shiite Iran and its allies.
"It seems that the clerics of Saudi Arabia were more mature than me," Qaradawi said.
Yet, he insisted that his call to fight Hezbollah is "not against all Shiites".
Qaradawi calls for Sunnis jihad in Syria is not the first.
Two months ago, two Salafi scholars in Lebanon have called for Muslims to join the Syrian opposition to fight against Assad's regime.
The scholars attributed their call for the participation of the Shiite group Hezbullah in the Syrian civil war on the side of Assad.
The calls were rejected from the Syrian opposition.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in more than two years of fighting between Assad's security forces and opposition forces.
The fighting has forced more than one million Syrians to flee their home to neighboring countries in addition to the displacement of two millions others inside the country.
Thousands of foreign fighters are believed to have joined the fighting in Syria against Assad's regime.
There is no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, which has divided world powers.
Russia and Shiite Iran support Assad, while the United States, along with some European and Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab nations back a fractured opposition.
Damascus and some of its opponents have said they will consider peace talks, but no meetings have been arranged.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net