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.

 

Arab coalition adopts two-pronged strategy to resolve Yemen conflict

Sudan president reelected with more than 94% of vote

Sudan accuses UNAMID of killing civilians in Darfur

Israel invites tenders for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes

Syrian rock bands finding safety in Lebanon

Gulf foreign ministers set to meet with focus on Yemen war

Iran leads NAM calls for Israel to give up nuclear weapons

UN: Israeli actions killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters

Journalists face ‘deadliest period’ in recent history

Leading member of Syria ‘tolerated’ opposition escapes to Spain

‘Islamic State’ stones two men to death in Iraq

Coalition strikes continue as bread, medicine run short in Yemen

Guantanamo ex-inmates demand compensation from US

Novelists withdraw from NY gala in Charlie Hebdo protest

Islamist rebels overrun army base in Syria Idlib province

Iraq forces suffer heavy losses in battle of Ramadi

In new provocation, Iran Guards chief likens Saudi Arabia to Israel

Israel charges soldiers for theft in Gaza war

First Saudi National Guards deployed on Yemen border zone

Sudan to unveil election results

Turkey rounds up 350 migrants en route to Europe

Iraq army announces ‘progress’ in Anbar province

Will Somalia Shebab choose Qaeda or Islamic State?

Abbas condemns Israel killing of two young Palestinians in separate incidents

Civilian massacre in Syria northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughur

New UN envoy looks to revive talks as battles intensify across Yemen

‘Islamic State’ suicide bombers target Iraq-Jordan crossing

Four Egypt Islamists killed while preparing bombs

Extremist groups capture last major regime holdout in northwest Syria

‘Islamic State’ kills Iraq senior officers in Anbar province

Deadly fighting rages in Yemen southern towns

Entrepreneurs encourage people to ‘buy Syrian’

Over 100 children killed in Yemen since March 26

Libya militia alliance 'carries out air raids' against IS

UN 'confident' rebels will sign Mali peace deal

Petraeus gets two years probation for info leak

Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Palestinians mourn as Jews celebrate

UN chief set to appoint Mauritanian diplomat as Yemen envoy

Obama takes 'full responsibility' for deaths of Qaeda hostages in US operation

Turkey warns Austria over decision to condemn ‘Armenian genocide’

Yemen conflict poses dangers across Gulf of Aden

Hopes for final deal on second day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

Security tightened at Saudi shopping malls

US returns stolen Egypt artifacts