First Published: 2012-11-19

 

Heavy blow to Syria opposition bloc: Islamic rebel groups want Islamic state

 

14 armed groups announce their consensus to set up Islamic state in Syria, exposing serious rifts among opposition factions.

 

Middle East Online

'Koran is our constitution'

BEIRUT - The main Islamist rebel groups in Aleppo province, including Al-Nusra Front, have rejected the newly-formed Syrian opposition bloc saying they want an Islamic state, in an Internet video posted on Monday.

"We, the fighting squads of Aleppo city and province, unanimously reject the conspiratorial project called the National Coalition and announce our consensus to establish an Islamic state" in Syria, a spokesman announced in the video.

"We reject any external coalitions or councils imposed on us at home from any party whatsoever," he said.

The unidentified speaker sat at the head of a long conference table with at least 30 other men and a black Islamist flag on the wall behind him.

He listed 14 armed groups as signatories to the statement, including Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Tawhid.

After the statement, another man held up a copy of the Koran, saying forcefully to the camera that it should be "your constitution."

"God is greatest," the group said in unison.

Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, the head of the main rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the embattled northern city of Aleppo, said that the statement did not represent the opinion of all rebel groups in the province.

"These groups represent a number of military factions on the ground and reflect their position, but not all military forces in Aleppo agree with this," the defected former colonel said by phone.

"The military council has announced its support for the National Coalition and is collaborating with them," Okaidi added.

The National Coalition, formed in Doha on November 11, aims to present a united front to the international community and is lobbying for weapons and cash to help it topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

 

Russian, Turkish FMs meet for first time since ties repaired

Four ministers sacked from Libya's unity government

At least 70 killed in north of Syria's Aleppo

Iranians mark annual Quds Day

Egypt becoming departure country for migrants to Europe

Turkish ship carrying Gaza aid leaves for Israel

Diplomatic quartet says Israel must cease settlement expansion

Monitor says Syrian regime pilot captured by rebels

Palestinian dies from tear gas fired by Israeli forces

Palestinian tries to stab Israeli in West Bank, shot dead

Ankara suicide attack mastermind killed

Istanbul airport attackers ‘planned hostage-taking’

Oil prices rise in Asia

US Navy probe finds leadership failings in Iran capture

Quartet report says Israel must urgently halt illegal settlement expansion

At least 70 killed in northern Aleppo clashes

Sisi praises Egyptian 'revolution' against Morsi

US-backed Syria rebels look to cut off ISIS from Iraq border

Egyptian Coptic priest shot dead in El-Arish

Iran sacks heads of four state banks over high pay

EU agrees to opens new chapter with Turkey on accession talks

Detained RSF Turkey representative released

Lebanese army says ISIS attacks foiled, 5 arrested

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition

Air strikes kill 150 militants fleeing Fallujah

Turkey detains 13 over airport attack

Palestinian killed by Israeli troops after deadly attack

UN envoy seeks Syria peace talks’ resumption in July

Tunisian killed in Istanbul attack seeking to repatriate IS-linked son

Turkish forces kill 2 suspected IS jihadists at Syria border

Egypt president urges religious reforms to counter extremists

First aid convoy since 2012 enters two besieged Syria towns

Race to succeed Cameron begins after stunning Brexit vote

Yemen peace talks to take two-week break

Iraq secures $2.7 billion US military loan

ISIS pushes back Syria rebel offensive on Iraq route

Israel cabinet approves Turkey reconciliation deal

Turkey airport attack slams limping tourism industry

Putin lifts Turkey travel restrictions, orders trade 'normalised'

Fears for stranded Syrian refugees as Jordan blocks access

Bahrain activist back in jail despite worsening health

41 killed in Istanbul airport bomb, gun attacks

Witnesses recount Istanbul attack

Car bomb kills 10 in Kurdish-held Syria town

Ban to Israeli PM: Gaza blockade ‘collective punishment’