Key Syria Islamist rebels say they do not recognise National Coalition
Key Syrian Islamist rebel groups said late Tuesday that they do not recognise any foreign-based opposition group including the National Coalition.
“The National Coalition and the proposed government under (recently chosen) Ahmad Tomeh does not represent us, nor do we recognise it,” said 13 of Syria’s most powerful Islamist rebel groups.
The groups include members of the main rebel Free Syrian Army and more radical Islamists.
Among the signatories are Liwa al-Tawhid, the main rebel force in the northern province of Aleppo, and the jihadist Al-Nusra Front.
The radical but non-jihadist Ahrar al-Sham also signed on, as did the 19th Division, a significant but relatively new addition to the mainstream FSA.
In their joint statement, they also called for Islamic law to be applied.
“These forces call on all military and civilian groups to unite in a clear Islamic context that… is based on sharia (Islamic) law, making it the sole source of legislation,” they said.
They called for “unity” and “to reject division… putting the interest of the (Islamic) nation over the interest of (each) group”.
The statement comes amid an escalation of violence pitting fighters from various factions across the rebel spectrum against the Al-Qaeda front group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Who are the approximately 100,000 rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad?
Assad claims that “80 to 90% of those [the Syrian government is] fighting belong to al Qaeda.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claims that 15% to 25% of the opposition is “bad guys” who belong to an extremist groups.
Neither is accurate.
The complex reality is that there are as many as 1,000 individual armed rebel groups, each of which fall somewhere on the spectrum from al-Qaeda ideologue to secular Syrian Arab Army defector.
Charles Lister of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center recently published a fantastic article detailing “specific nature and composition of the insurgency itself.” According to Lister,nearly half of the rebel forces are jihadist or hardline Islamists.
We’ve drawn on Lister’s insights and other estimates to establish a rough breakdown of the rebels fighting Assad:
Key Syrian Islamist rebel groups say they do not recognise any foreign-based opposition group, including the Syrian National Coalition.
“The National Coalition and the proposed government under [recently chosen] Ahmad Tomeh does not represent us, nor do we recognise it,” 13 of Syria’s most powerful rebel groups said in a joint statement late on Tuesday.
The groups include members of the main rebel Free Syrian Army, as well as Liwa al-Tawhid, the main rebel force in the northern province of Aleppo, and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-linked group.
The UN Security Council blacklisted al-Nusra Front as an alias of al-Qaeda in Iraq in May, while the US State Department had designated the group as a terrorist organisation in December last year.
Ahrar al-Sham also signed on, as did the 19th Division, a significant but relatively new addition to the mainstream FSA.
In their statement, they also called for Islamic law to be applied.
13-14 of the different groups have joined to say we dont want a moderate response..its all about sharia inspired sunni driven assualts now..these are the people your western leaders are supporting..