first published on July 28, 2016 by Will
As a ploy to stop being targeted by Western forces in Syria, Nusra Front has changed their name to Jabhat Fatah al Sham, and claims that they no longer operate under the al Qaeda leadership. Their reasoning is simple: By cutting ties with al Qaeda, which is an internationally recognized terror organization, they can no longer be targeted by foreign militaries such as the U.S. and Russia.
Can it really be that simple? Probably not. Nusra’s leader Abu Mohamad al-Golani came to an agreement with Ayman al Zawahri, al Qaeda’s top leader, that the separation of the two groups for that reason was acceptable, which basically means that there was absolutely no shift in ideology. Jabhat Fatah al Sham, now formerly known as Nusra, will carry on in the exact same manner as before with the exact same desired outcome, Sharia Law for all.
Yet, maybe there is weight to this plan. During Nusra’s existence in Syria, actual terror attacks carried out by them against civilians are few and far between when compared to their attacks and operations against military and other rebel groups. Due to the limited troop and air strength of actual decent militaries battling in Syria, groups like al Nusra are able to operate in an ugly, yet conventional manner. Should we consider Jabhat Fatah al Sham a legitimate fighting force?
Maybe. Who knows? Keeping in mind Obama’s military plan(?) (for lack of a better word) in Syria, this trick by the jihadist group may do more than just stop the already minimal U.S. strikes against the group, but we may even take them under our wing and finally be able to openly arm them against Assad while hyping them up as yet another group of righteous freedom fighters. That plan had actually been proposed not long ago, it’s not far-fetched. After all, if Obama had a son… something something…Abu Mohamad al-Golani.