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Sistani stresses need for unity over sectarianism in battle for Iraq

Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani stresses the need for Iraqis to support the army and avoid sectarianism in battling the current Sunni rebellion sweeping the country.
Volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi Army to fight against predominantly Sunni militants, carry weapons and a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during a parade in the streets in Baghdad's Sadr city June 14, 2014. An offensive by insurgents that threatens to dismember Iraq seemed to slow on Saturday after days of lightning advances as government forces regained some territory in counter-attacks, easing pressure on the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad.  REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili   (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL
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As the security situation in Iraq has been severely deteriorating, news was posted on June 13 claiming that Shiite cleric Ali Sistani has issued a call to arms to confront the Sunni rebellion in the west and north of Iraq. Yet these reports are unfounded, and contradict the nationalist, humanitarian, and nonsectarian principles adopted by Sistani.

Sistani has only issued one official statement regarding the recent incidents; it was posted on June 11 on his official website.

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