CAIRO — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said Saturday that he has cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and is backing a no-fly zone over war-torn Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state more firmly against President Bashar Assad, according to a Toronto Star story attributed to the Associated Press.
Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Islamist head of state also warned Assad’s ally, the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, to pull back from fighting in Syria.
“Hezbollah must leave Syria. These are serious words,” said Morsi, whose country hosted a conference this week of Sunni clerics who issued a call for holy war against Damascus. “There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.”
Saturday’s rally underscored the region’s deepening sectarian rift. A cleric who spoke before Morsi described Shiites as heretics, infidels, oppressors and polytheists. (Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, backs Hezbollah.)
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