Arab rift could lead to Syria division: Syrian leader:

Asia Middle East Forum

The continuation of the inter-Arab political crisis could contribute to Syria’s eventual division and the expansion of Iranian influence in Syria and the region in general, Osama al-Rifaei, head of the Syrian Islamic Council, said.

On June 5, five Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen — cut off ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Doha, for its part, denies the allegations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it “unjustified”.

In exclusive comments to Anadolu Agency, al-Rifaei described the ongoing crisis in relations as “a return to Jahiliyyah [a pre-Islamic state of “ignorance”] and will affect the situation in Syria”.

“Those most negatively affected by the ongoing dispute [between Arab states] are the Syrian people,” he said.

He warned that Iran, one of the Bashar al-Assad regime’s main supporters, was “trying to promote the Shia doctrine” in the region.

“The Iranians are…

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