Assir is a Lebanese Salafist cleric who popped up out of nowhere at the beginning of the Syrian civil war. He quickly rose to prominence through his passionate sermons, sharply criticizing the Hezbollah, the Shiite paramilitary group widely feared and disliked by the Sunni community of Lebanon. He is well known for his over-the-top tactics like blocking the highway to Sidon in July 2012, ostensibly in a bid to stop the flow of arms to Hezbollah.
Despite the fact that his father was Sunni and his mother was a Shia, his sermons are designed to incite sectarian hatred:
He once delivered a sermon at his mosque while holding a toy rifle. He told his Salafist supporters that the rifle was made in Iran and releases an audio in Arabic saying "kill Aisha" — Aisha is one of the wives of Muslim Prophet Muhammad, and is a subject of historical dispute between Sunnis and Shiites. It later turned out that the toy had nothing to do with Iran or Assir’s claims. It is manufactured in China and says in English, "Kill the hostages."