Islamist rebel groups fighting in Syria to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have rejected the recently formed Syrian opposition National Coalition and announced their intent to form an Islamic state in the war-torn country.
On Nov. 11 the Syrian National Coalition was established, uniting various factions amongst the Syrian opposition. France, Turkey and the Arab League have already recognized the new Coalition. According to the BBC Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bayanuni, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said there was "much exaggeration" regarding division within the Syrian opposition.
Divisions have now become apparent as the main Islamist rebel groups have rejected the National Coalition. Al Arabiya reported an unidentified Islamic spokesman listed 14 groups opposed to the National Coalition. Appearing on video he said: "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, adding "We reject any external coalitions or councils imposed on us at home from any party whatsoever."
According to Kcautv the authenticity of the video could not be verified but was shown on a website that carries al-Qaeda statements. News reports only name three of the 14 groups opposed to the National Coalition. Those named are the Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Tawhid. There are reports that many Syrians fear the Islamic extremists that often engage in in-fighting.
As Digital Journal reported a general with the FSA said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding "Islamist rebel groups over those with a secular bent." Iran's warning that arming the opposition could lead to an increased risk of terrorism in the area is now heightened by the Islamic groups avowal to distance themselves from the National Coalition.
Mouaz al-Khatib, head of the National Coalition, has pledged to "listen to our brothers who have not joined this alliance. We will keep in contact with them for more cooperation in the interest of the Syrian people."