Assad Vows to ‘Wipe Out’ Syria’s Extremists

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, the Eman Mosque is seen destroyed after a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, an 84-year-old cleric known to all Syrians as a religious scholar, at the Mazraa district, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, March 21, 2013. A suicide bomber blew himself up during evening prayers inside a mosque in Damascus Thursday, killing a top Sunni Muslim preacher and longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad and least 13 other people, state TV reported. Al-Buti's death is a big blow to Syria's embattled leader, who is fighting mainly Sunni rebels seeking his ouster. (AP Photo/SANA)

    Eman Mosque in Damascus on Thursday, where Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti was killed. (SANA/AP)

    Syrian extremists have killed the wrong Sunni cleric. Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, a top Sunni preacher and supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, was one of 42 people killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in Damascus on Friday. In response, Assad has stated that his forces will “wipe out” and “clean our country” of the Muslim extremists he believes are responsible for the attack—the first to target a mosque since the country’s civil war began two years ago. Meanwhile, the United Nations plans to investigate whether either the Syrian government or its rebel opposition has used chemical weapons against one another, as they both have claimed.

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