BEIRUT

Middle East

Saudi Arabia calls on all foreign fighters to leave Syria

Opposition fighters help one of their wounded comrades during clashes with government forces in the Sheikh Najjar district on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on March 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ZEIN Al-RIFAI /AMC

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Cabinet has called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Syria and is demanding they face international justice if they committed war crimes there.

Riyadh is concerned that Saudi militants in Syria could turn their weapons on the kingdom.

Minister of Information and Culture Abdelaziz Khoja said in a statement Monday on behalf of the Cabinet that the kingdom "renews its firm position condemning terrorism in all its forms."

Last month, Saudi King Abdullah decreed it a crime for Saudi nationals to fight in foreign conflicts. The move was largely aimed at curbing extremist Saudis fighting alongside Syrian rebels.

Volunteers from across the Sunni Muslim world have joined Syrian rebel groups, in particular an al-Qaida breakaway faction.

Lebanese and Iraqi Shiites, meanwhile, are fighting on the government side.

 

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