Who Are the Most Heavily Armed Opponents of Bashar Assad?
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Al-Nusra Front is an organized armed group with high influence in Syria which has been recently blacklisted by the United States as a terrorist group. It is present throughout Syria from northern border of the Arab country close to Turkey, down to Syria’s border with Lebanon. Out of all armed groups fighting against the Syrian government, it has more trained militants and more advanced weaponry. This issue has cast doubts on the true nature of this group.
In the meantime, debates on Al-Nusra Front which is said to be an offshoot of Al-Qaeda are rife among regional media circles.
Al-Alam Arabic news channel has recently published a report on this group noting that the materiel available to Al-Nusra Front is several times more than other groups, which is indicative of the wide support that the group receives from international powers which are its financial backers. Unlike what some media circles say, the group’s widespread presence in all parts of Syria is the best reason that it is totally independent of Al-Qaeda.
According to this report, those who are familiar with the background and the origins of Al-Nusra Front, scoff at efforts made to prove that it is related to Al-Qaeda even despite what the current Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, said in a footage aired on Aljazeera news network. The Front has been established in Turkey by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood under the supervision of a military council which is headed by Mohamad Faruq Tayfur the current Deputy Chair for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Tayfur was among the commanders of Hama battle in 1981 and one of the vanguards of that battle who managed to make it out of the city alive. He is now revenging what happened at that time.
Due to weakness of Mohammed Riad al-Shaqfa, Syria's MB Controller, in political and leadership fields, the militants fighting for Al-Nusra Front take their orders directly from Tayfur’s office in Istanbul as well as an international operation room which has been established on Turkey’s border with Syria.
According to the French weekly, Le Canard enchaîné, the office has French, American, Qatari and Turkish military officers as its members.
In the meantime, informed sources have noted that the Muslim Brotherhood pursues three goals by trying to attribute Al-Nusra Front to Al-Qaeda. The Front has, for two reasons, decided to massacre the supporters of the Syrian government: firstly, as revenge for what happened [in Hama] a few decades ago, and secondly, to establish its power base in cities and villages that it conquers in various parts of Syria.
The Muslim Brotherhood is well aware that by attributing Al-Nusra Front to Al-Qaeda, it will be relieved of responsibility for the Front’s crimes. This is especially true when one considers that the Muslim Brotherhood is dreaming about seizing the power in Damascus following the overthrow of the government of the incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad. Therefore, by attributing Al-Nusra Front to Al-Qaeda, it can later free itself from responsibility for killing of innocents by that Front.
According to Syrian opposition sources, any change in the existing political equations in Syria and downfall of its government will be rapidly followed by a change in the name of Al-Nusra Front, which will certainly take a new name because its current name is just meant to serve the political objectives of the group at this juncture of the Syria war.
However, the United States’ decision to blacklist Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist group was actually aimed at making the leaders of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and political groups affiliated to them such as the “Syrian National Council,” and “Syrian Coalition of Secular and Democratic Forces,” to reveal their true colors by protesting to that decision. It is noteworthy that George Sabra, the new chairman of the Syrian National Council, as well as Mouaz al-Khatib, head of the Syrian Coalition of Secular and Democratic Forces, and some other opposition figures, have already protested to Washington’s decision.
There is no doubt that the recent war in Gaza played an important role in the United States’ decision because it made Washington reach a clear conclusion. The war in Gaza proved that the Muslim Brotherhood is not committed to an agreement it has signed with the United States through Turkey and Qatar.
The former French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, addressed the Arab World Academy in Paris on April 16, 2011, noting that while sharia law was important to the Arabs, the security of Israel and oil were major concerns of the West.
The United States is asking the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement from firing more “Fajr” missiles into Israel. Hamas, another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, has been also urged to stop using these missiles.
Of course, Hamas has not been able to do this. In addition, the new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, recalled his country’s ambassador to Tel Aviv which greatly angered the US officials. The summoning came despite general understanding that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood will remain committed to Camp David Accord with Israel.
Despite visits by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip and his Qatari counterpart, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, to Egypt to remind the new Egyptian president to slow down, Morsi, who was under pressure from his own people, tried to take advantage of the war in Gaza as an opportunity to strengthen his power over state institutions through his controversial constitutional decree. However, once issued, the decree evoked public anger and caused the Egyptian people to take to the streets again two years after they overthrew the country’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
The United States, then, took to the stage of crisis in Egypt and the Egyptian army, which had already taken sides with the opposition by encouraging them to unseat Mubarak, started to put pressure on Morsi. The highest degree of pressure was put on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood by enlisting Al-Nusra Front, which is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, on the United States blacklist of terrorist organizations in order to highlight the importance of Syria in global scheme of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Finally, the United States sent a message to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who brought up the theory of the Shia Crescent for the first time, to attack the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to dominate the entire Arab world to the extreme consternation of Turkey. It is no secret that the Jordanian government actually issued its statement to give a message to Turkey and let Ankara know that Washington considers the Justice and Development Party the primary party which should guarantee the implementation of the aforesaid agreement.
Key Words: Armed Opponents, Bashar Assad, Terrorist Group, Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda, Syrian Muslim Brotherhood,
Source: Tabnak News Website
Translated By: Iran Review.Org