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For the government, the Islamists are evidence of the militant and sectarian nature of the conflict. The rebels are mostly Sunni Muslim fighting against Mr. Assad’s regime, which is dominated by members of his minority Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam.

Al-Thawra, the regime paper, said that meeting in Qatar failed to unite the opposition groups to “the extent that some [opposition] groups have announced the establishment of an Islamic State” in Syria.