Al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al Zawahri warned his group would not stand by and watch Israel bombard Lebanon and the Palestinians. He called on Muslims in a video aired on Thursday to fight attacks on their countries.
Zawahri, in the tape aired by Al Jazeera, did not say how Al-Qaeda would respond to the fighting.
"How can we remain silent watching bombs raining on our people," he asked. "Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the Crusaders," Zawahri said in the statement which was entitled 'The Zionist-crusader war on Lebanon and the Palestinians'.
Zawahri's statement was the first comment by the Sunni Muslim-dominated Al-Qaeda against Israel's war on Lebanon, which was sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Shiite Muslim guerrilla group Hizbollah.