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‘Americans Are on Our Side’:
Al-Nusra Receiving Weapons From U.S.
(SputnikNews) ~ A senior al-Nusra Front commander [Abu Al Ezz] told journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer that the group, considered to be terrorist by the United States, Russia, as well as the United Nations, has received weapons, particularly the BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, from the US, German weekly news magazine Focus reported.
“The missiles were handed over directly to us. Americans are on our side,” the media outlet quoted the militant commander as saying. The remarks came in response to Jürgen Todenhöfer’s question whether any intermediaries, including the US-backed Free Syrian Army, were involved in the weapons transfers.
Al-Nusra Front has been one of the Damascus’ fiercest opponents. The terrorist group has been fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and establish a caliphate in Syria. The commander confirmed this.
Al-Nusra commander says US supports jihadists indirectly,
provides tanks & artillery via allies
“We will fight until the regime is toppled,” he said, referring to Assad’s government. Al-Nusra Front wants “to establish an Islamic state that will be ruled according to the Sharia law. We do not recognize any secular state.”
Al-Nusra Front was founded as al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Syria, but has recently cut ties with the global terrorist network, changing its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (the Front for the Conquest of the Levant). Experts have said that the rebranding has not affected the group’s goals or the means of achieving them.
Headquartered in Idlib, al-Nusra Front has also been active in the province of Aleppo and its capital of the same name. One of the largest cities in the country has been at the center of the latest agreement negotiated by Russian and American diplomats.
The deal paved the way for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid deliveries to rebel-held areas of the city.
On September 19, the day when the Syrian ceasefire crumbled, a UN humanitarian convoy came under attack that left at least one aid worker and around 20 civilians killed. The US blamed Russia and Syria for the attack, with Moscow and Damascus denying these groundless allegations.
Interestingly, the al-Nusra Front commander also mentioned the UN aid convoy. Keep in mind that Todenhöfer, the first Western journalist to be granted access to Daesh’s caliphate, conducted the interview ten day ago, before the attack.
The commander said that the militants would not allow UN trucks carrying aid to enter Aleppo if the Syrian Arab Army does not withdraw “as required”.
“The regime must withdraw from all areas in order for us to let the trucks in. If a truck drives in anyway, we will arrest the driver”, he detailed.
Americans are on our side’:
Al-Nusra commander says U.S. arming them via 3rd countries
(RT News) ~ US weapons are being delivered to Jabhat Al-Nusra by governments that Washington supports, a militant commander told the German media, adding that American instructors were in Syria to teach how to use the new equipment.
“Yes, the U.S. supports the opposition [in Syria], but not directly. They support the countries that support us. But we are not yet satisfied with this support,” Jabhat al-Nusra unit commander Abu Al Ezz said in an interview with Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper from the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo.
According to the commander, the militants should be receiving more “sophisticated weapons” from their backers to succeed against the Syrian government.
“The fight is difficult. The regime is strong and gets support from Russia,” he explained.
Al Ezz said that Jabhat Al-Nusra “won battles thanks to TOW rockets. Due to these rockets, we reached a balance with the regime. Our tanks came from Libya via Turkey, joined by the [BM-21] multiple rocket launchers,” he said.
The government forces have an advantage because of aircraft and missile launchers, but “we have the American-made TOW missiles, and the situation in some areas is under control,” Al Ezz added.
Al-Nusra commander says US supports jihadists indirectly,
provides tanks & artillery via allies
When asked if the TOW missiles were initially intended for Jabhat Al-Nusra or if the group obtained them from the moderate Free Syrian Army, the jihadist clarified: “No, the missiles were given to us directly.”
He also said that when Jabhat Al-Nusra was “besieged, we had officers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America here… Experts in the use of satellites, rockets, reconnaissance and thermal security cameras.”
The journalist asked specifically if the US instructors were really present among the jihadists’ ranks and Al Ezz replied: “The Americans are on our side.”
He also said that Jabhat Al-Nusra has been paid for achieving specific military goals during the Syrian conflict.
“We got 500 million Syrian pounds (around $2.3 million) from Saudi Arabia. To capture the Infantry School in Al Muslimiya years ago we received 1.5 million Kuwaiti dinars (around $500,000) and Saudi Arabia’s $5 million,” Al Ezz said.
The money came from the “governments” of those states, not private individuals, he said.
“Israel is now giving us support because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hezbollah,” Al Ezz said.
The West also “paved the way” for jihadists coming to Syria, saying that “we have many fighters from Germany, France, Britain, America, from all the Western countries,” the commander said.
‘Al-Nusra using ceasefire to regroup, prepare for new attacks’
In the interview, he confirmed claims made by Moscow and the Syrian government that the militants were using the Syrian ceasefire, agreed by Russia and US on September 9, to prepare for a new offensive.
“We do not recognize the ceasefire. We will regroup our groups. We will carry out the next overwhelming attack against the regime in a few days. We have regrouped our forces in all provinces, including Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama,” Al Ezz said.
He said that Jabhat Al-Nusa would not let trucks with humanitarian aid enter Aleppo “as long as the regime [forces] are along the Castello Road, in Al Malah and in the northern regions.”
“The regime must withdraw from all the territories, and we will let the trucks in. If a truck is going in anyway, we will detain the driver,” he said.
The idea of a transitional government in Syria is also not supported by Jabhat Al-Nusra, the commander said.
“We accept no one from the Assad regime or of the Free Syrian Army, which is described as moderate. Our goal is to overthrow the regime, and establish an Islamic state in accordance with the Islamic Sharia,” he said.
As for the people who represent the Syrian opposition at the Geneva talks, Al Ezz said that “these people are weak, they’ve got a lot of money. They’ve sold themselves.”
“There are mercenaries in Syria, Alloush fights with Al Nusra-Front,” he said talking about Mohammed Alloush, a leader in the Jaysh al-Islam group, part of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) in the peace talks.
“The group that was housed in Turkey and which was turned into the Free Syrian Army, used to be part of Al Nusra-Front.”
The commander openly confirmed that Jabhat Al-Nusra “are part of Al Qaeda,” the terrorist network responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
“Actually, we were inside one group together with the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). But the Islamic State has been used in accordance with the interests and political purposes of the big powers like America, and the group has drifted away from our principles. Most of the IS leaders are working with intelligence services, and it’s now clear for us. We, the Jabhat Al-Nusra, have our own way,” Al Ezz said.
The interview with Jabhat al-Nusra’s commander was taken at a stone quarry in Aleppo on September 17 by Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger journalist Jurgen Todenhofer on his seventh trip to war-torn Syria.
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SOURCES: Sputnik News RT News Video-Interview by Jürgen Todenhöfer Submitted by SyrianPatriots War Press Info Network at: https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/al-american-nusra/ ~ Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you, to facilitate the correct information's diffusion, to cite all these original links and sources.
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