ASIA/SYRIA - Birth of the Islamic Front. Patriarch Gregorios III: they certainly do not fight for democracy

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Seven inspired Islamist anti-regime formations announced, in a statement made public on Friday, November 22, their fusion and the creation of an Islamic Front aimed at building an 'Islamic State' in the region, in Syrian territory.
This occurs in a phase in which the armed forces loyal to Assad are prevailing in the fighting above all in the areas around Damascus and Aleppo. In recent months, several incidents had highlighted divisions and conflicts even within the radical Islamist component in the fight against the Syrian regime. "The Islamic Front" - says the announcement reported in the statement - "is a social force and military independent whose goal is the overthrow of President Bashar Assad’s regime, and its replacement with a fair Islamic State". The statement says that "all the fighters, media, administrative offices and humanitarian groups will merge during a three month period of transition".
Among the groups that have adhered to the fusion include Liwa al-Tawid (close to the Muslim Brotherhood) and Ahrar al-Sham. The new "cartel" is born in contrast with the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the formation which in the recent stages of the conflict had assumed a hegemonic role in the territories outside the control of the army.
"These groups", says to Fides the Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek Melkite - Gregorios III Laham, "even when they divide and fight with one another, they respond to the same logic. Logics that have nothing to do with democracy and freedom. Foreign forces must stop supporting and arming them from the outside if one really wants negotiations in Geneva 2 to bring positive results for the future of the Syrian people" (GV) (Agenzia Fides 23/11/2013)