Syria to be 'another Afghanistan for Russia'

Al Qaeda affiliated Sheikh Muhaysini says in video

02 October, 19:15

    Abdallah Muhammad Al-Muhaysini  in a video posted online Abdallah Muhammad Al-Muhaysini in a video posted online

     - BEIRUT - Syria will be a ''tomb for its invaders'', a Saudi cleric and militant said in a video posted online on Friday. Abdallah Muhammad Al-Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric in Syria's northwestern Aleppo province with links to the local Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, was refering to the Russian armed forces. ''I speak to the Russian people and ask them: have you forgotten the Afghan quagmire?'' he said. ''The people of Sham (Syria, Ed.) will rise up against you.'' The cleric enjoys a great deal of support in the neighboring region of Idlib. Russia launched its first airstrikes in Syria on September 30, after the Russian Senate unanimously voted to authorize military intervention by the country's armed forces.

    President Vladimir Putin pledged that the country would not take part in ground operations. Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad had asked for the intervention, Russia said, calling itself the ''only country'' to intervene against the Islamic State (ISIS) in compliance with international law since - underscored the Kremlin spokesman - military operations abroad are possible only on the basis of a UN Security Council resolution or on the request of the legitimate authorities of the country concerned. The Russian intervention has led to much criticism from the US, which claims that Moscow is using the ''fight against terrorism'' to hit Western-backed rebels that are fighting against Assad in the Homs and Hama province.

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