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.

 

IS jihadists move closer than ever to central Damascus

UN confirms Palmyra temple destroyed

Turkey police raid anti-Erdogan media group after British reporters jailed

Shebab attack Somalia AU base

Over 10,000 Icelanders ready to welcome Syrians

Turkey government says it 'had no role' in reporters' arrest

IS claims Tripoli car bomb near oil firm

Dispute with Israel government keeps Christian schools shut

Kuwait charges 24 'linked to Iran' with plotting attacks

New Turkey caretaker government holds first meeting

Dozens of Lebanon protesters occupy environment ministry

Will Erdogan's political gamble solve Turkey poll impasse?

Libya loyalist forces battle IS jihadists in Benghazi

South Sudan peace deal in jeopardy

Pressure builds on Europe as refugee crisis exposes splits

Israel confirms jail for Druze ex-MP over visit to Syria

Egypt much delayed elections to start on October 17

Palmyra temple appears ‘largely intact’ after ISIS blast

Turkey to offer cash rewards for tips on ‘terrorists’

Yemen children's hospital on the verge of shutting down

In gruesome video, ISIS shows burning alive of Iraq Shiite fighters

Four years after famine, situation in Somalia remains alarming

A year on, recapture of Yazidi hub remains a distant prospect

EU leaders call for action to defend migrants’ 'dignity'

IS blows up parts of famed Palmyra temple

Deadly fire at housing complex of Aramco in Saudi Arabia

In historic first, Saudi Arabia allows women to run in local elections

Israel repels protesters with tear gas at separation barrier in West Bank

ISIS brutality in Syria: Over 90 people executed in one month

Bashir to visit China despite international arrest warrant

Egypt summons British envoy in row over Al-Jazeera trial

Yemen war seeks to stop ‘Iran expansion’ in Arab region

Lebanon protesters to government: Meet our demands of face escalation

Calls for action on refugee crisis mount after Austrian tragedy

Kuwait lawmaker describes Iran as 'true enemy' of Gulf Arabs

Two French journalists charged with bid to blackmail Morocco King

Algeria detains former intelligence chief

Kurdish forces free seven Iraq villages from clasps of ISIS

Toll in Libya shipwreck tragedy rises to 111

Egypt court hands Al-Jazeera reporters three years in prison

UN to host new round of Libya peace talks next week

US names ‘First Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs’

Mounting death toll of security forces triggers questions in Turkey

Deadly terrorist blast rocks Karanah suburb in Bahrain

Brief truce between Syria regime and rebels collapses