Skip to main content

Rift Between Syrian National Coalition And Islamist Rebels Deepens

The signs were obvious that an open rift between the Syrian National Coalition and the main Islamist rebel factions was imminent.
Nader, a 20-year-old fighter of the first batch of the Al-Tawhid Brigade, stands beside other grooms during his wedding ceremony in Aleppo's countryside city of Al-Bab March 15, 2013. A mass wedding took place for fourteen members of the first batch of the Al-Tawhid Brigade, which operates under the Free Syrian Army, in Al-Bab. Picture taken March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Giath Taha (SYRIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT SOCIETY) - RTR3F2PX

ALEPPO, Syria — There were telltale signs of the impending rift between the Syrian National Coalition and major rebel groups on the ground, mostly Islamist militias such as the moderate Liwa al-Tawhid, the Salafi Ahrar al-Sham, thought to be financed by the Gulf, and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.

We could all see it coming, and it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone when it finally did. In fact, rebel factions have repeatedly threatened to delegitimize the coalition, citing various grievances such as its close ties to the West, its lack of assistance to both fighters and civilians inside, and its inability to secure any solid palpable support for the revolution.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.