American-Backed Syrian Rebels Don't Mind Al-Qaeda Cohorts

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
04/14/2014
       
American-Backed Syrian Rebels Don't Mind Al-Qaeda Cohorts

A leader in the Syrian rebel forces admits fighting side-by-side with al-Qaeda.

As if we needed any more evidence that the Obama administration-backed “rebels” in Syria are fighting alongside our avowed enemy, al-Qaeda, a story published days ago in Britain’s The Independent puts another brick in that wall. The paper reports:

The rebel leader touted as the West’s last hope to stem the tide of extreme jihadist groups in Syria has said he will not fight against al-Qa’ida, and openly admits to battling alongside them.

Speaking from a safe house on the outskirts of the Turkish town of Antakya, Jamal Maarouf, the leader of the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) told The Independent that the fight against al-Qa’ida was “not our problem” and admitted his fighters conduct joint operations with Jabhat al-Nusra — the official al-Qa’ida branch in Syria.

Later, Maarouf reportedly said, “It’s clear that I’m not fighting against al-Qa’ida. This is a problem outside of Syria’s border, so it’s not our problem. I don’t have a problem with anyone who fights against the regime inside Syria.”

In June 2013, President Obama approved the shipment of weapons from the United States to opposition forces in Syria.

On August 1, 2012, Reuters reported on a secret order signed by President Obama providing support to Syrian rebel forces opposing the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Reuters wrote that “recent news reports from the region have suggested that the influence and numbers of Islamist militants, some of them connected to al Qaeda or its affiliates, have been growing among Assad's opponents.”

The next day, The New American covered the same story, writing that: “Western governments, brutal Sunni-Arab dictatorships, an assortment of terror groups including al-Qaeda, and other powerful interests have all been backing the uprising since long before violence even broke out last year.”

Later that same day, in a story covering the violence of the Syrian uprising, the BBC reported:

The al-Qaeda-styled group in Syria is Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham (the Front for the Protection of the Syrian People). 

Like other al-Qaeda affiliated groups, al-Nusra's statements and videos are usually issued by its own media group, al-Manara al-Baida (the White Minaret) in Syria.

Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for several attacks against the Syrian army, security and shabiha (state-sponsored thugs) since it announced its formation early this year.

Finally, under a headline reading "Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria,” The Guardian (U.K.) reported:

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo of Syrian rebels: AP Images

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