By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT Wed Mar 4, 2015
(Reuters) - Leaders of Syria's Nusra Front are considering cutting their links with al Qaeda to form a new entity backed by some Gulf states trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad, sources said.
Sources within and close to Nusra said that Qatar, which enjoys good relations with the group, is encouraging the group to go ahead with the move, which would give Nusra a boost in funding.
The exercise could transform Nusra from a weakened militia group into a force capable of taking on Islamic State at a time when it is under pressure from bombing raids and advances by Kurdish and Iraqi military forces.
It could also boost the influence of Qatar and its allies in the campaign to oust Assad, in line with the Gulf state's growing diplomatic ambitions in the region. Qatari officials were not available for comment.
While it awaits the final word from its decision-making Shoura council, Nusra is not wasting time. It has turned on small non-jihadi groups, seizing their territory and forcing them to disarm so as to consolidate Nusra's power in northern Syria and pave the way for the new group.
Intelligence officials from Gulf states including Qatar have met the leader of Nusra, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, several times in the past few months to encourage him to abandon al Qaeda and to discuss what support they could provide, the sources said.
They promised funding once it happens.
"A new entity will see the light soon, which will include Nusra and Jaysh al Muhajereen wel Ansar and other small brigades," said Muzamjer al-Sham, a prominent jihadi figure who is close to Nusra and other Islamist groups in Syria.
"The name of Nusra will be abandoned. It will disengage from al Qaeda. But not all the Nusra emirs agree and that is why the announcement has been delayed," said Sham.
A source close to the foreign ministry confirmed that Qatar wanted Nusra to become a purely Syrian force not linked to al Qaeda.
"They are promising Nusra more support, i.e. money, supplies etc, once they let go of the Qaeda ties," the official said.
The Qatari-led bid to rebrand Nusra and to provide it with new support could further complicate the war in Syria as the United States prepares to arm and train non-jihadist rebels to fight Islamic State.
The Nusra Front is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and has been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. But for Qatar at least, rebranding Nusra would remove legal obstacles to supporting it.
So all a terrorist gang has to do to get delisted is change its name then the state sponsors of terrorism, Bilderberg-zionist subject countries (UK and its commonwealth countries, US and its puppet countries, EU, IL) would feel themselves free to throw tax funds, weapons, military and intelligence assistance at the no-longer-terrorist gang.
I wonder which psycho think tank came up with that idea, one of (former PNAC founder and chair) zionist Kristol's such as the Foreign Policy Initiative or the Foreign Policy Initiative or Soros' CFR? The complicit MSM will sell the covin.
Remember that Syria has a popular, democratically elected government and it is a sovereign country. Cameron and his Bilderberg - zionist cronies ignore international law and repeatedly commit crimes not least interference in the affairs of sovereign countries such as sponsoring and directly and indirectly supporting terrorism to defeat elected gov'ts for the purpose of profit and to advance the zionist - neocon global hegemony agenda. For this a very long jail sentence in a Guantanamo like camp would be fitting imo.
Have UK forces been active in destroying Syrian infrastructure the way the US-NATOCIA forces have? Is there evidence that can be used to get Cameron and Hague before the ICC?