Muslim Cleric Argues Battles in Libya and Azerbaijan are Jihad

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced that it had obtained video footage showing a Muslim scholar, belonging to Al-Sheikh Hadid’s Foundation of Endowments and Fatwa, who described the conflict in Azerbaijan as Jihad against the “Crusaders”. This was filmed in areas held by Syrian rebels, in the countryside of Aleppo.

The Sheikh added that Muslim scholars issued a fatwa prohibiting fighting outside of Syria as they believe that fighters going abroad flee the war against Syrian government forces. To counter this claim, the Sheikh stressed that the battles in Libya and Azerbaijan, are “battles of religion”, similar to the conflict in Syria.

The Sheikh said that the people of Azerbaijan have followed “Shiism” by force, with half of them being “Sunnis”, and thus needing support.

On 2 October, the Syrian Islamic Council issued a statement to fighters on the frontlines. The Council stressed the consequences of leaving the frontlines against regime forces and traveling to fight in order to seek financial gain. It explained that fighters must refuse to leave the country and join foreign conflicts.

This comes days after an alleged large batch of Syrian fighters arrived in Azerbaijan. The fighters are sent there to support Azeri forces, in their conflict with Armenia. Reliable sources have informed SOHR, that Syrian fighters were being prepared to be transferred to Azerbaijan by Turkish security companies.