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  • » 01/18/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Al- Nusra, a Jihadist brigade that scares Syrian rebels



    Close to al-Qaeda, the group is connected with those who carried out the university attack in Aleppo. Al-Nusra and other Islamist groups are using force to impose their control on the opposition, ready to kill anyone standing in the way of an Islamic state in Syria.

    Damascus (AsiaNews/ Agencies) - The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the military force that is fighting Bashar al-Assad, has a new foe: the extremist militias coming into Syria to set up an Islamic state. Once the old regime has fallen, the opposition could be the new target of groups like the al-Nusra Brigade, a movement close to al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

    In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera and the BBC, members of the group clearly state that their goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria and for this they are willing to fighting other revolutionaries who stand in their way.

    Some members claimed responsibility for Monday's attack at Aleppo University that left 87 people dead and hundreds of wounded. In fact, currently, the largest group is in Aleppo with hundreds of Islamist fighters.

    Fearing reprisals, the rebels have denied it but they cannot hide the fact of their presence on the ground. Pickups and cars with black flags with religious inscriptions are visible in the streets. And black is al-Qaeda's colour and that of other Jihadist groups.

    So far, al-Nusra has fought alongside dozens of rebel groups trying to overthrow the Assad the regime. However, "after the fall of the regime, they will try to impose their views on the Syrian people," said Saqr Idlib, a 24-year-old FSA fighter. "Their goal is for Syria to be an Islamic state and the Free Syrian Army is the opposite of that."

    After secretly reaching Syria, the Jihadist militia is now in the open. Even though it is on the US terrorist list, members of the group have given interviews in print and on tape to international media.

    Their main area of influence is Idlib province, but affiliated groups are operating in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and other parts of the country.

    In Idlib, Mustafa, their spokesman, told al-Jazeera that they are willing to die in this conflict-the honour of martyrdom.

    Al-Nusra fighters are all Sunni Muslims. They include Syrians but also outsiders from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Turkey and Afghanistan. Some fighters do not speak Arabic and are helped by comrades to communicate.

    "Syria . . . will be an Islamic and Sharia state," said Khattab, who has little knowledge of Arabic but fought in Afghanistan. "We will not accept anything else. Democracy and secularism are completely rejected."

    Quoted in a Reuters report on Islamist groups in Aleppo, he warned anyone who might stand in the way. "We will fight them," he said, "even if they are among the revolutionaries".

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    See also

    07/10/2014 SYRIA
    As monk, parishioners are abducted in Syria, Gregory calls on the world to stop extremists
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    29/07/2016 09:27:00 SYRIA
    Al Nusra Front breaks from al Qaeda for future in Syria

    Rupture mutually agreed. The creation of a new "front for the conquest of Syria". In this way Nusra Front hopes to escape US and Russian anti-jihadist bombings, and maintain a strong influence on rebel groups.



    06/03/2015 SYRIA
    Nusra Front military chief killed in an air raid in Syria
    Abu Homam al-Sham died in a government forces air raid security in Idlib province. Three other prominent leaders also died during the operation. The leaders were meeting to outline the groups future strategies. They were considering the possibility of leaving al Qaeda, and seeking the support of the Arab states.

    13/08/2016 11:43:00 SYRIA
    Arabs and Kurds wrest Manbij from Islamic State, cutting off jihadist route to Europe

    2 thousand Daesh militants flee using civilians as human shields, later liberated. Kurdish leader: the militia "will no longer be able to travel to and from Europe." For the Pentagon IS "is on the ropes." Hundreds of mines and booby traps placed by jihadists in the ground before fleeing.



    12/08/2016 10:17:00 SYRIA
    Aleppo, UN opens investigation into gas use in rebel controlled neighborhoods

    Staffan Mistura says if confirmed the attack constitutes a "war crime". Four people die, several patients - including children - with breathing problems. There is no certain information about the perpetrators. The Russian air raids leave Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic Caliphate in Syria, without water.





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