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SUMMARY: Thirteen insurgent factions — including Liwa Al Tawheed, Harakat Ahrar Ash Sham, and Jabhat Al Nusra as well as groups from the Free Syrian Army — have issued a statement rejecting the opposition Syrian National Coalition.
Liwa Al Tawheed posted the video announcement on its YouTube channel and webpage:
“The National Coalition and the proposed government under [provisional Prime Minister] Ahmad Tomeh does not represent us, nor do we recognise it,” the groups said in a statement published on Liwa Al Tawheed’s webpage.
The statement said, “These forces call on all military and civilian groups to unite within a clear Islamic framework that stems from Islam and is based on sharia law, and to make this the sole source of legislation.”
The statement said that its signatories rejected “outside formations” that were outside Syria “without reference to the inside” and that this was why they did not recognize Ahmed Tomeh.
They called for “unity” and “to reject division… putting the interest of the Ummah over the interest of each group”.
*Harakat Ahrar Ash-Sham
*Liwa Al Tawheed
*Liwa Al Islam
*Harakat Fajr Ash-Sham Al Islamiyyah
*Harakat Al Nour Al Islamiyyah
*Noureddin Az Zanki
*Fa-staqim Kama Ummirat Gathering – Aleppo
*Liwa Al Ansar
In addition to these groups, the Liwa Al Haqq – Homs and the Liwa Furqan – Quneitra also joined the agreement.
Aron Lund offers detail, and assesses:
Is this a big deal? Yes, if the statement proves to accurately represent the groups mentioned and they do not immediately fall apart again, it is a very big deal. It represents the rebellion of a large part of the “mainstream FSA” against its purported political leadership, and openly aligns these factions with more hardline Islamist forces.
That means that all of these groups now formally state that they do not recognize the opposition leadership that has been molded and promoted by the USA, Turkey, France, Great Britain, other EU countries, Qatar, and – especially, as of late – Saudi Arabia.
The groups involved include the largest factions in northern Syria, as well as some groups from Homs (Al Haqq) and Damascus (Liwa Al Islam) and represent a considerable and powerful proportion of the insurgency.
Liwa Al Tawheed, Liwa Al Islam and Suqour Ash Sham are part of the Supreme Military Council and the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF). SILF was formed in September 2012 and includes around 20 Islamist groups including Suqour al-Sham Brigade (Idlib), Liwa Al Farouq Brigade (Homs), Liwa Al Islam (Damascus) and Liwa Al Tawheed.
Both Harakat Ahrar Ash Sham and Al Haqq are part of the Syrian Islamic Front, a group of 11 insurgent factions formed in December 2012, and which professes a more Salafist ideology. Earlier this month, the SIF published a statement on Facebook, saying that it rejected Western intervention in Syria. The organization does not seek to create an Islamic Caliphate but wants to create an Islamic State in Syria. It has carried out operations with Jabhat Al Nusra.
This video, purportedly by Jabhat al Nusra, shows the statement about a “large coalition between all the combat brigades of Jabhat al Nusra, the Free Syrian Army and Ahrar Ash Sham.”