Syrian Christian women decorate a Christmas tree at a cafe in Damascus on December 20, 2012. (file photo)
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned threats made by foreign-sponsored militants against two Syrian Christian towns, warning of a fresh wave of violence in the country.
“Such threats are contrary to the precepts of Islam which calls for tolerance, brotherhood and peace,” the 57-member body said in a statement on Sunday, AFP reported.
In a video message released on Saturday, Syrian armed groups threatened to attack Mharda and Sqilbiya towns in the central province of Hama if the residents do not expel government forces.
The OIC warned against the risks of "a slide into confessional conflict.”
Rashid Abul Fida, the head of the al-Ansar Brigade in Hama, made the threat.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence.
A recent UN report has revealed that militants from 29 countries have so far infiltrated into Syria to fight against the Damascus government, most of whom are extremist Salafists.
The Syrian government says certain Western states, especially the United States, and their regional allies are fueling the unrest.