CAIRO - The highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world has condemned a bloody crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's forces on anti-regime protestors, describing the situation in the Arab country as a 'human tragedy'.
"The situation in Syria gone beyond all limits," Al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayyib said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
"This Arab and Muslim tragedy must be stopped."
Assad has sent tanks and armored vehicles into the eastern city of Deir al-Zor to quell anti-regime protests.
At least 80 people have been reportedly killed in the assault, which is the latest episode of Assad's deadly crackdown on protestors demanding an end to Assad's 11-year rule.
Activists say government troops have killed at least 1,600 civilians in the five-month crackdown on protests in Syria, the bloodiest episode in the wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world.
The crackdown has sparked world condemnations with several Arab states recalling their ambassadors from Syria.
The move came a day after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Damascus with Saudi king Abdullah condemning the Syrian crackdown.
The Saudi monarch said that Syria's fierce military crackdown had "nothing to do with religion, or values, or ethics."
Qatar, which has sought to lead Arab diplomacy as the unrest spreads, was the first to recall its envoy to Syria in July.
The Arab League, in a rare response to the escalating bloodshed, also called on Syrian authorities to stop acts of violence against protesters.
Tayyib called for putting an end to the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.
"It's not acceptable to keep silent on the tragedy of the Syrian people," the Cairo-based body said.
"Blood was shed, families were split up ... and unarmed people are being fought with live ammunition, iron and fire."
The Sunni Muslim body urged Syrian authorities to respond to the "legitimate demands of the people."
"Blood only fuels the fires of revolutions."
Assad on Monday fired defense minister Ali Habib and replaced him with chief of staff General Daoud Rajha.
The state news agency said Habib was ill. Habib had been added to an EU sanctions list last week for his role in crushing protests.
Syria's military is effectively under the command of Assad's brother Maher. Many officers are from the Assad family's minority Alawite sect."A swift response from Syrian authorities to the demands of the peopleâ€¦will abort any schemes aiming to trigger instability in the Levant," Al-Azhar said.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net
Source : IslamOnline