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.( Read more...Collapse )