Iraq's Sadr calls for 'immediate halt' to Syria violence

Iraq's Sadr calls for 'immediate halt' to Syria violence
Prominent Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged for an end to violence in Syria urging all Muslims to unite against injustices committed in Aleppo.
2 min read
18 December, 2016
The Iraqi cleric warned against the shedding of blood in Syria [AFP]
Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for an immediate halt to the war in Syria and an end to violations in a statement on Saturday.

Although Sadr did not direct his comments to any particular faction of the Syrian war, it comes at the time of heightened bloodshed following a massive offensive on Aleppo.

Sadr urged for an end to "the cycle of war in Syria and a halt to all the violations", adding that it is important that "all Muslims are treated equally in Islamic countries", according news site Arabi21, which accessed the statement. 

The Iraqi cleric warned against "shedding the blood of your brother without right or in the favour of a political policy".

Sadr said "everyone must see us as advocates of peace. If Prophet Mohammed was among us today, he would be heavily disturbed with what is going on. This is a massaive disaster and we must all call for peace".

Sadr urged "all faiths and religions to keep the spirit of unity," adding that "moderate Sunnis must be open to work" in the interest of the wider Islamic nation to bring an end to the injustices.

Aleppo has seen some of the worst violence of the nearly six-year war that has killed more than 400,000 people.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura estimated that as of Thursday around 40,000 civilians and perhaps as many as 5,000 opposition fighters remained in Aleppo's rebel enclave.

The ICRC appealed for safe passage for the civilians still trapped in the city.

"People have suffered a lot. Please come to an agreement and help save thousands of lives," said ICRC Syria delegation head Marianne Gasser.

"We cannot abandon these people."

The main regional supporters of the rival sides in the devastating civil war have engaged in a flurry of diplomacy to try to secure a resumption of evacuations.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA said the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran would meet on Tuesday in Moscow to discuss the conflict.