09/09/2016, 10.21
SYRIA - IRAQ
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Al Nusra Front leader dies in Aleppo air raid

Abu Omar Sarakeb was killed during an operation west of the city. So far there is no official confirmation about the author of the attack. The US and Russia meet today in Geneva to try to reach a truce. CIA chief John Brennan confirms de facto partition of Syria (and Iraq).

 

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A senior leader of the rebel group (jihadist) Fateh Jabhat al-Sham, better known by the former name of the Front Nusra Front, was killed in an air strike near the town of Aleppo, in northern Syria. 

It was announced by sources close to the rebels and republished on Twitter by the group. In the message it is confirmed that the commander Abu Omar Sarakeb died in an air raid in the northern province.

Al Nusra Front changed its name at the end of July, after cut ties with the al Qaeda network which had long been the local offshoot in Syria.

At present there is no official news about what military force launched the attack. In recent weeks both government Syrian air forces, those of Russia and the United States have carried out several raids in the area against the militia groups and jihadist factions.

Local witnesses have told Reuters added that Abu Omar Sarakeb and other fighters had sought refuge in a hideout in the village of Kafr Naha, west of Aleppo. Although there are no independent confirmations, filtered news related to the killing - or injury - of other prominent leaders of the extremist group.

In February, the face of the Nusra Front - Today Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the "Front of the Conquest of Greater Syria" - had been excluded by the agreement for a cease-fire on Syria brokered by Washington and Moscow, together with the Islamic State (IS). Despite the name change, there are other reasons to consider the group differently given that it is still linked to Islamic extremist and jihadist galaxy.

In recent weeks Aleppo has become the epicenter of the Syrian conflict and for sometime now a pitched battle for the conquest of the city has been building, with the west in the hands of the government and the east controlled by rebel groups. The diplomatic efforts of the US and Russia have so far concluded in a stalemate.

Today US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are due to meet in Geneva. The goal is to reach a nationwide truce, improve the distribution of humanitarian aid and to restart the peace talks. 

Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke of the situation in Aleppo in an interview with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin; calling for a cease-fire that has to be achieved "as soon as possible."

Meanwhile the head of the CIA (the American intelligence service), also spoke of in Syria (and Iraq). He said that  killings and violence have brough the country "to such a point that it will be very difficult to put back together" in the future. In an interview with the CTC Sentinel, a military magazine published in West Point, John Brennan confirmed the de facto partition of the two states, one of the objectives pursued by Washington in the Middle East. 

"I question whether we will see, in my lifetime, the creation of a central government in both of those countries that's going to have the ability to govern fairly", he said. The solution is a federal structure, with autonomous regions, similar to Iraqi Kurdistan.

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