Beirut: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has urged Sunni Muslims to spare no effort to join the battle in Syria, overthrow President Bashar Assad and set up Islamic rule in the country.
Zawahri called on Sunnis everywhere to devote their lives, money and expertise for the fight and prevent a US-allied government from taking over in post-Assad Syria.
He urged Sunnis to "rise above their differences" and fight expanding Shiite influence in Syria.
The message came in a new audio recording posted today on the Internet. Its authenticity could not be independently confirmed but the message was posted on a militant website commonly used by Al Qaeda.
Zawahri has repeatedly called for holy war in Syria and has blasted Lebanese Hezbollah militants and Iran for supporting Assad.