THE LEVANT – Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called on Baghdad to rush to the aid of the country’s Sunni tribes in their fight against the ISIL Takfiris.
In a statement read out by an aide to Ayatollah Sistani in the holy city of Karbala after Friday prayers, the cleric pointed to the recent massacre of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribesmen in Anbar Province, saying, “What is required from the Iraqi government … is to offer quick support to the sons of this tribe and other tribes that are fighting Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.”
“This will offer the opportunity to the other tribes to join the fighters against Daesh (ISIL),” he said.
On Thursday the bodies of at least 220 men from the Albu Nimr tribe, who had been seized by the ISIL days earlier, were found in two mass graves.
The Albu Nimr tribe has been resisting against the ISIL invasion since early October.
The ISIL militants have been committing terrible atrocities in Iraq and Syria, including mass executions and beheading of local residents as well as foreign nationals.
According to a report by the UN Security Council, thousands of foreign militants from 80 countries have flocked to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the ISIL or other such groups.
Iraqi army soldiers have been fighting the ISIL terrorists for nearly six months now. The troops have pledged to make more gains in their battle against the extremist group, which has large swathes of land under control in Iraq and Syria.
Reports also say Iraqi armed forces surrounded the northern city of Baiji on Tuesday as they gear up to liberate the strategic oil-rich city from the ISIL Takfiri militants.