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Syria's supreme mufti says natives of 83 countries fight on opposition's side

Descendants of 83 countries, including Europe and the North Caucasus republics, are fighting against the government in Syria, the country's supreme mufti said on Thursday.

"We are fighting against 83 states whose representatives have come to fight against our own people," Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun said during his visit to Moscow.

The mufti said the foreigners come from Austria, as well as Dagestan and Chechnya.

Syria is alone combating the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while the "West has convened a coalition of 40 countries but has not been successful in the effort."

"We thank our friends from Russia and Venezuela for helping us in this fight," he said.

The mufti expressed concerns that some countries when speaking about the fight against terrorism, fail to take up real actions in this direction.

"I am worried about the inaction of the Turkish government. They are not noticing a fire on their borders, without understanding that it can spread to the country," he said.

Syria is not a confessional or national state and is fighting "not against the representatives of this or that religion or nationalities, but against terrorists who have no faith."

The Islamic State, which has been fighting against the government in Syria since 2012, launched an offensive in Iraq in June, seizing vast areas in both countries and proclaiming a new "caliphate."

The US and its allies have recently launched airstrikes against the fighters in both Syria and Iraq. Russia insists that fighting against terrorism should be conducted on a solid basis of international law under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Oct14]

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