A senior Iranian cleric said the West is not after confronting terrorists, and described the formation of the US-led coalition against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as blatant deception.
“The objective of the Americans and countries that have joined the anti-ISIL coalition is not confronting the terrorists and fighting the ISIL but (the formation of the coalition) is an obvious and inept deception,” Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Kazem Sediqi said, addressing a large group of worshippers on Friday.
He said the coalition has not been fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq but rather targeting Syria’s infrastructures and the Iraqi army.
Ayatollah Sediqi further said one of the purposes behind the formation of the anti-ISIL coalition is portraying a distorted image of Islam.
He also criticized Muslim scholars and the Muslim world media for remaining indifferent to the terrorist activities of ISIL.
ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Since late September, the US and several of its Arab allies including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The US began airstrikes on ISIL targets in Iraq in mid-August. Several Western nations, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia have joined the US military campaign in Iraq.