Sadr strongly supports Syria's Assad
Senior Iraqi cleric and prominent political figure, Muqtada al-Sadr, expresses strong support for Syrian president amid Damascus' efforts to curb the deadly domestic unrest it is facing, Press TV reported.
There is "a big difference" between what is happening in Syria and the revolutions in "Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen," Sadr said in a statement, AFP reported on Thursday.
"One of the reasons behind this difference is that [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad is against the American and Israeli presence and his attitudes are clear, not like those who collapsed before him, or will collapse," the statement read.
The comments came after the regional grouping of the Arab League suspended Syria's membership on Saturday and called for the imposition of sanctions on Damascus.
On Wednesday, an Arab League gathering gave Damascus a three-day ultimatum to end the months-long unrest. Syria boycotted the meeting, describing the order as illegitimate.
The Iraqi cleric warned against efforts to throw Syria into "an abyss of terrorism and fragmentation" by pushing Assad out of power.
Syria has been experiencing unrest ever since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of Assad's government.
Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in the tension.
The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the deadly violence, while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
The Syrian government also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.