Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi said his government had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus – in a strengthening of his stance against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mursi also called for a no-fly zone over Syria. The United States said on June 14 that it had considered this but had decided it had no national interest in pursuing that option. Russia is vehemently opposed to a no-fly zone.
Speaking at a rally of supporters in Cairo, Egypt’s Sunni Muslim head of state stressed that fighters from the Lebanon-based Shi’ite group Hezbollah, who have been supporting Assad’s forces in Syria, should not be there:
“Hezbollah must leave Syria. These are serious words. There is no place for it in Syria,” Mursi told the cheering crowd.
Hezbollah militants joined Assad’s forces in recapturing the strategic Syrian city of Qusair from rebel control in early June.
The United States announced this week that it would start offering military assistance to the Syrian opposition, after Washington concluded that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons.