Late last month, Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front), al-Qaida’s Syrian arm, announced that it was severing ties with al-Qaida and renaming itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (the Front for the Conquest of Syria).
In a video, the group’s leader, Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, explained that the group’s association with al-Qaida permitted the outside powers intervening in the Syrian conflict to label it as an Islamic terrorist group.
The Guardian quoted al-Jolani as saying that the name change is intended “to remove the excuse used by the international community – spearheaded by America and Russia – to bombard and displace Muslims in the Levant: that they are targeting al-Nusra Front, which is associated with al-Qaida.”
He further explained that the new policy was an attempt to have the group removed…
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