Al-Qaeda's chief has called on Muslims from other countries to support rebels in Syria seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, saying they cannot depend on the West for help. Ayman al-Zawahri, in a videotaped statement released late yesterday, asked Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey to join the uprising against Assad's "pernicious, cancerous regime." All four states border Syria. The statement confirms Assad's claims and US suspicions that the terror group has had a hand in the 11-month uprising.
A senior Iraqi security official also said that intelligence over the last four months has revealed a flow of al-Qaeda-linked fighters from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul into Syria. "There is no treatment for (the Assad regime) other than removal," al-Zawahri says in the eight-minute video. "Don't depend on the West and Turkey, which had deals, mutual understanding, and sharing with this regime for decades and only began to abandon it after they saw it faltering," he said. "Instead, depend on Allah alone and then on your sacrifices, resistance, and steadfastness." He urged Syrians to oppose help from the Arab League and "its corrupt agent governments."