Krigen i Syria er ved å utvikle seg til en sekterisk krig, dvs. en krig mellom fremst sunnier og shiaer. Sunni-radikalismen er ensrettende og behandler alt avvik som frafall og avvik. Dermed ryker alawitter, kristne, drusere og kurdere lett over på shiaenes side. Det kan ha noe å gjøre med at regimet har fått ny vind i seilene.
Ett av de verste trekk ved sunni-fanatismen er ødeleggelsene av de hellige stedene til sufier og shiaer.
Ett av shia-islams største helligdommer, moskeen over Zayida Zeinad, ligger i Damaskus. Generalsekretær for Hizbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, advarte 30. april om følgene hvis mausoleet/moskeen blir ødelagt.
Det var etter at al-Nusra-fronten hadde påtatt seg ansvaret for å ha gravd opp og fjernet etterlevningene til en annen shia-figur, Hojr Ibn Oday.
Da Zarqawi ville utløse krig mellom sunnier og shiaer i Irak, ødela han en av shiaenes helligste moskeer. Da kom den sekteriske krigen, som var en annen og langt blodigere enn krigen mot amerikanerne.
The shrine of the revered Shiite figure, Hojr Ibn Oday — also known as Hajar Ben Adi al-Kundi — in the Damascus suburb of Adra was a popular pilgrimage site before the hostilities mostly ended religious tourism in Syria. Pictures posted on Facebook seemed to show that the sanctuary had been ransacked and the remains of Mr. Oday exhumed.
The caption next to the photo reads: “This is the shrine of Hajar Ben Adi al-Kundi. It’s one of the Shiite shrines in Adra al-Balad. The heroes of the Free Syrian Army scavenged the grave and buried him in an unknown place. Praise be to God and God grant victory to the Free Syrian Army.”
The caption gives credit for the exhumation to a man named Abu Anas al-Wazir, or Abu al-Baraa, a leader of a military group called the Islam Brigade of the Free Army.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who considers himself a binding figure between Sunnis and Shiites, called the event “bitter and sad,” and blamed foreign intelligence agencies for the destruction of the shrine.
Iranian and Syrian students protested Monday in Tehran, shouting “death to America” and “death to Israel,” while pro-government speakers blamed Britain as a former colonizer for “sowing the seeds of discord between Sunnis and Shiites.”
The students shouted back, “Stop, stop the exhuming of graves.”
The Qaeda-inspired Al Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the abduction of the remains of Mr. Oday. The group’s attack was followed by a stern warning from Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia, who on April 30 told Sunni rebels not to target the largest Shiite sanctuary in Syria, the golden-domed shrine of Sayida Zeinab, Muhammad’s granddaughter.
Mr. Nasrallah warned of “very serious repercussions” if Syrian rebels attacked the shrine, long a main pilgrimage destination for Shiites worldwide.
Such an attack would unleash an uncontrollable conflict, Mr. Nasrallah said, invoking a fearsome precedent: the destruction of a Shiite shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra in 2006 that contributed to years of sectarian bloodletting between Shiites and Sunni Muslims there.
Fighting has engulfed areas around the Syrian shrine, which is outside Damascus, and many Shiite fighters — Syrian as well as Iraqi and Lebanese — have rushed to defend it, according to fighters interviewed in Syria.
Sunnis in the Jordan town of Southern Mazar on Friday burned down a Shiite gathering center, close to the shrine of another revered Shiite figure, Jafar Ibn Abi Talib, Iranian news media reported.
Iranian officials blamed the United States and Israel, saying they were supporting the Syrian rebels and Sunni extremist forces in the region.