| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Syrian rockets target Hezbollah

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 8:21 p.m.

Sixteen rockets and mortar rounds from Syria slammed into Lebanon on Saturday, the largest cross-border salvo to hit a Hezbollah stronghold since Syrian rebels threatened to retaliate for the Lebanese militant group's armed support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The rockets targeted the Baalbek region, the latest sign that Syria's civil war is increasingly destabilizing Lebanon. On Friday, the Lebanese parliament decided to put off general elections, originally scheduled for June, by 17 months, blaming a deteriorating security situation in the country.

In Qatar, an influential Sunni Muslim cleric whose TV show is watched by millions across the region fanned the sectarian flames and urged Sunnis everywhere to join the fight against Assad.

“I call on Muslims everywhere to help their brothers be victorious,” Yusuf al-Qaradawi said in his Friday sermon in the Qatari capital of Doha. “If I had the ability, I would go and fight with them.

“Everyone who has the ability and has training to kill ... is required to go,” said al-Qaradawi, who is in his 80s.

In a rally for Syria's rebels later Friday, he denounced Assad's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, as “more infidel than Christians and Jews” and Shiite Muslim Hezbollah as “the party of the devil.”

He said there is no more common ground between Shiites and Sunnis, alleging that Shiite Iran is trying to “devour” Sunnis.

Predominantly Sunni rebels backed by Sunni states Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are fighting against a regime that relies on support from Alawites, Shiites and Christians at home, and is aided by Iran and Hezbollah. The Syria conflict is also part of a wider battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional influence.

Sunni fighters from Iraq and Lebanon have crossed into Syria to help those fighting Assad, while Shiites from Iraq have joined the battle on the regime's side.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. After U.S. indictments, Chinese military scalesc back hacks on American industry
  2. Pope Francis visits mosque in war-torn Central African Republic, calls for end to conflict
  3. World leaders show willingness to act at climate change summit
  4. Burned-out van belonged to missing Australians, Mexican prosecutors say
  5. Israeli court convicts two Jewish teenagers in 2014 killing of Palestinian youth
  6. Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law ‘breaches human rights,’ court rules
  7. Obama: Climate pact an ‘act of defiance’ after Paris attacks
  8. Boko Haram destroys Nigerian military base; 107 troops MIA
  9. Palestinian artist who appealed blasphemy sentence of 800 lashes, prison sentenced to execution
  10. Senators call for 20,000 more troops in Syria and Iraq
  11. In Paris, nations, investors to pledge billions for climate change research