Syrian activists on Thursday dismissed as “blatant interference” a weekend call by Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for an Islamic state to be established in the strife-torn country.
“The Local Coordination Committees in Syria completely reject the statement by … Zawahiri in which he called for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria,” said the LCC, a network of peaceful activists on the ground.
“The LCC condemns (Zawahiri’s) blatant interference in Syria’s internal affairs,” it added.
The LCC’s statement comes a day after Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, pledged allegiance to Zawahiri but distanced itself from claims of a merger with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The LCC made no mention of Al-Nusra’s statement, while debate rages among activists over whether the powerful jihadists should be recognised as a legitimate part of Syrian revolutionary forces.