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Islamist rebel groups in the Syrian city of Aleppo say they reject the new Western-backed opposition coalition. In an internet video, they denounced what they called "the conspiratorial project" and said they intend to establish an "Islamist state" in Syria.
"We are the representatives of the fighting formations in Aleppo and we declare our rejection of the conspiratorial project, the so-called national alliance," he says. "We have unanimously agreed to urgently establish an Islamic state."
Washington, meanwhile, says it is inevitable that extremist elements would attack the moderate coalition aimed to bring democracy to Syria. “It's not surprising to us that those who want an extremist state, or a heavily Islamist state in Syria have taken issue with this,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. The lack of unity among the rebels appears to be causing the US pause for thought, with Washington yet to fully recognize the coalition. President Obama has said the US needed more time to know if the coalition “is committed to a democratic Syria, an inclusive Syria, a moderate Syria.” The US leader also added that US will not yet arm the opposition because of concerns extremists might get hold of the weapons. Some experts believe those fears are likely to be realised.