Prominent Saudi religious scholars have called on Iraqis to support fighters battling US-led forces, saying fighting the presence of foreign troops is a duty and a right.
In an open letter addressed to the Iraqi people and posted on the internet on Saturday, 26 Saudi scholars and religious preachers stressed that armed attacks launched by Iraqi groups on US troops and their allies in Iraq were legitimate resistance.
The statement came as US troops, backed by air and artillery power, were gearing up for a major assault on Falluja.
The scholars - some of whom have been criticised in the past for their views - issued a fatwa, or religious edict, prohibiting Iraqis from offering any support for military operations carried out by US forces against anti-US fighter strongholds.
"Fighting the occupiers is a duty for all those who are able. It is a jihad (holy war) to push back the assailants," said the letter dated 5 November.
"Resistance is a legitimate right. A Muslim must not inflict harm on any resistance man or inform about them. Instead, they should be supported and protected," it said... READ MORE