Former Lebanese Army General Michel Aoun says foreign-backed Takfiri extremists pose a great threat to all the religious communities living in Syria and the Middle East.
Aoun, who is also the leader of Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
“Takfiris have no friends. So their animosity towards other religious groups is anticipated. However, by dubbing Christians as crusaders they are trying to distort historical facts. They are portraying Christians as colonial power rather than the indigenous people in the Levant,” Aoun said.
“The Syrian government treats its nationals based on their citizenship, not on religious beliefs. Christians are protected in Syria. However, if Takfiris take over, all Christians would be threatened. They also consider moderate Muslims as infidels too,” he added.
Takfiri people believe they are the only true Muslims and accuse other Muslims of apostasy.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
The extracts of the study by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s were published on September 16.
IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups.
The analysis also said that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are also active in Syria.