Thirty foreign-backed militant groups in Syria have announced their separation from the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) opposition group, and so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA). The announcement came in an online video released on Saturday. On Wednesday, thirteen foreign-backed militant groups in Syria announced they do not recognize the authority of the National Coalition.
"The National Coalition and the proposed [provisional] government under (recently chosen) Ahmad Tomeh do not represent us, nor do we recognize it," said 13 of Syria's powerful militant groups in a joint statement.The groups include the so-called Free Syrian Army and al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri groups such as the Al-Nusra Front, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Ahrar al-Sham. The statement came amid an escalation of violence among militants from various factions across Syria. A recent British defense study shows that about 100,000 foreign-backed militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people. The study by defense consultancy IHS Jane's estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups. The analysis also said that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are also active in Syria. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence. PG/HGH