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.
Damascus (AsiaNews) - The Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, announced last night that it has broken ties with the terrorist organization, launching a new face with a new name: Fateh Jabhat al-Sham (Front for the conquest of Syria).
Analysts believe that the move - taken in agreement with the leaders of al Qaeda – aims to save the group from US-led coalition bombing and Russian raids, and create a link between all the rebel groups, perhaps to exclude "moderates" who are involved in the dialogue on the future of Syria.
The announcement was made by the head of al Nusra Front, Abu Mohamad al-Jolani. Appearing for the first time on video (see photos), Jolani explained that the separation from al Qaeda is to "protect the Syrian Revolution", forming a new front that "unites the masses of the people of Al-Sham [Levant] freeing their land, giving victory to their faith".
He also thanked "the leaders of al Qaeda for having understood the need to breakr ou bonds" and promised that the new group "will not have any ties with foreign groups".
Just last week, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, agreed to take "concrete steps" and save a slender ceasefire in Syria and stop the jihadists of al Nusra Front and the Islamic State.
The Jolani move seems an attempt to avoid the external bombings. It is also an attempt to bring together all opposition to Assad under its banner.
Al Nusra Front was born in January 2012, almost a year after the conflict in Syria. It is the most important group including the Islamic State militia. Unlike the latter, which fights anyone other than its closest allies, the Nusra Front has collaborated with different rebel groups.