A coalition of Syrian rebel groups say they are fighting both the regime of President Bashar Assad and Al Qaeda .
The groups proclaimed the Syrian Rebels Front after meeting in Istanbul , the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported Thursday. The front's goal is "to overthrow the Assad regime and protect the people and the country," the statement said.
The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and 14 other groups are involved. Col. Qassim Saad Eddine, speaking for the council, said the coalition will be the nucleus of a new Syrian Army.
Eddine said Al Qaeda declared war on the rebels in July when an affiliated group killed Kamal Hamami, a senior FSA leader. Al Qaeda militants have been fighting against Assad  with the stated goal of creating an Islamist state in Syria.