(DAMASCUS, Syria) — The new Syria opposition coalition endorsed by the U.S., Turkey and Arab countries is getting the cold shoulder from extremist Islamist groups fighting in Syria.
Formed last week, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has set up headquarters in Cairo and is seeking international recognition as it prepares for Syria without President Bashar al-Assad as its head of state.
But in addition to it being rejected by Damascus, the new coalition is also running into problems with certain militant groups whose mission is to impose an “Islamic state” in Syria once al-Assad is deposed.
In a video released last weekend, the Islamists promised not to be dictated by rules coming from outside Syria, declaring, “Make the Koran your constitution and you will prosper!”
There is hope that the coalition might still succeed despite the numerous factions operating in Syria over the past 20 months since the video’s message was derided by the commanders of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel group seeking to establish democratic reforms with or without al-Assad’s at the helm.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN