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Syrian rebels pledge allegiance to al-Qaeda, but promise to behave

11 April 2013

8:49 AM

11 April 2013

8:49 AM

This, from the BBC – just in case any further evidence were needed.

‘The leader of the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group fighting in Syria, has pledged allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said the group’s behaviour in Syria would not change as a result.

Al-Nusra claims to have carried out many suicide bombings and guerrilla attacks against state targets. On Tuesday, al-Qaeda in Iraq announced a merger with al-Nusra, but Mr Jawlani said he had not been consulted on this.

Al-Nusra has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US.

Debates among Western leaders over whether to arm Syria’s rebels have often raised the concern of weapons ending up in the hands of groups such as al-Nusra.

“The sons of al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Mr Jawlani said in a recording released on Wednesday.

But Mr Jawlani said al-Nusra had not been consulted on the merger with al-Qaeda in Iraq and insisted his group would not change its stance in Syria.

Al-Nusra is aware that al-Qaeda is not a name to conjure with in Syria, which is presumably why it distanced itself from Tuesday’s merger announcement from the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq.

The al-Nusra statement assured Syrians that the “good behaviour” they had experienced from the front on the ground would continue unchanged.’

My favourite bit of the report is where they say they will continue their ‘good behaviour.’ I’m like, y’know, lol.

Also note: this is a ‘Jihadist group fighting in Syria’, rather than a crucial part of the rebel forces whom we are helping to fund and arm.

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