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Thread: Syria rebels reject opposition coalition, call for Islamic leadership

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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    Syria rebels reject opposition coalition, call for Islamic leadership

    Powerful Syrian insurgent units have rejected the authority of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), badly damaging efforts by Western-backed political exiles to forge a moderate rebel military force on the ground. Thirteen groups, including at least three previously considered part of the coalition's military wing, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), signed a statement calling for the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad to be reorganised under an Islamic framework and to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria.
    The signatories range from hardliners such as the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham battalions to more moderate Islamist groups such as the Tawheed Brigade and Islam Brigade. Charles Lister of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre said the three moderate Islamist groups which signed the statement - the Tawheed Brigade, the Islam Brigade and Suqor al-Sham - had represented SNC's main rebel presence on the ground.
    "The inclusion of the core of the SNC force...effectively depletes the SNC's armed wing, the Syrian Military Council," Lister said. "It is likely that the moderate Islamist coalition has ceased to exist as a single organisation structure."
    Islamist forces grew in power as the Syrian conflict changed from peaceful protests into an armed insurgency after a fierce crackdown by Assad's forces. Militant groups, some linked to al Qaeda, have become even stronger in the ensuing civil war.
    Many Islamist groups that do not share al Qaeda's ideology had maintained a pragmatic stance. But the statement indicates that Tawheed and others have closed ranks with hardliners on the ground rather than the Western- and Gulf-backed SNC abroad.
    "These forces call on all military and civilian forces to unite under a clear Islamic framework based on Sharia law, which should be the sole source of legislation," the statement said.
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/syria-rebel...092503945.html

    ---------- Post added at 10:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:31 AM ----------

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    With no foreign bombing of Assads military coming, the FSA desperately is seeking a military opposition coalition for the rebels fighting in Syria even if it diverges from the political opposition coalition in Istanbul. But could be very short sighted, how many more moderates will now rather take Assads amnesty than fight for an Islamic coalition?



    Disillusioned by the Islamist twist that the "revolution" in Syria has taken, exhausted after more than two years of conflict and feeling that they are losing, growing numbers of rebels are signing up to a negotiated amnesty offered by the Assad regime.

    At the same time, the families of retreating fighters have begun quietly moving back to government-controlled territory, seen as a safer place to live as the regime continues its intense military push against rebel-held areas.
    "I used to fight for revolution, but now I think we have lost what we were fighting for," said Mohammed, a moderate Muslim rebel from the northern town of Raqqa who declined to give his last name. "Now extremists control my town. My family has moved back to government side because our town is too unsafe. Assad is terrible, but the alternative is worse."

    The prevalence of extremist Islamist groups in rebel-held areas, particularly in the north, has caused some opposition fighters to "give up" on their cause.

    Ziad Abu Jabal comes from one of the villages in Homs province whose residents recently agreed to stop fighting the regime. "When we joined the demonstrations we wanted better rights," he said. "After seeing the destruction and the power of jihadists, we came to an agreement with the government."
    The rebels "did not sign up to be part of extremist Islamist groups that have now gained influence", he said. "Now they want to come back to a normal life."

    In the days before the regime took the town of Qusayr last month, The Telegraph saw mediators on the Lebanese border work with the Syrian army to secure an amnesty for fighters wanting to surrender.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...d-amnesty.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshlemon View Post
    With no foreign bombing of Assads military coming, the FSA desperately is seeking a military opposition coalition for the rebels fighting in Syria even if it diverges from the political opposition coalition in Istanbul. But could be very short sighted, how many more moderates will now rather take Assads amnesty than fight for an Islamic coalition?









    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...d-amnesty.html
    Reading your quotes Eshelmon, it simply reinforces my belief based on all my years experience here in the Middle East...

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