Al-Qaida Leader Voices Support for Syrian Uprising

Posted February 12th, 2012 at 4:15 am (UTC-5)
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Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has voiced support for the Syrian uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

In a video posted on an Islamist website, Zawahiri urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to back the Syrian rebels.

He also called on Syrians not to rely on the West or Arab governments.

Zawahiri is seen seated near a green curtain in the eight-minute video, which is titled “Onwards, Lions of Syria.”

Zawahiri took command of al-Qaida after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in a raid in Pakistan in May.

Last week, Zawahiri appeared in another video to announce that the Somali-based militant group al-Shabab had joined his terrorist network.

Al-Shabab had previously said it is aligned with al-Qaida, and in June pledged allegiance to Zawahiri.

The United States has designated al-Shabab a terrorist group.