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The US Takes Rebranded Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) Off Terror Watch-Lists

  • The US Takes Rebranded Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) Off Terror Watch-Lists
    by Nauman SADIQ, https://orientalreview.org/
    According to a recent report by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year.

    The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles.

    The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that the US continues to arm Islamic jihadists in Syria.

    In order to understand the bloody history of al-Nusra Front during the Syrian civil war, bear in mind that since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Although al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Julani but he was appointed as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, in January 2012.

    Thus, al-Julani’s al-Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.

    read more.

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July 21, 2017 - Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , ,

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