Al-Qaeda: The beating heart of moderate militant groups in Syria

Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014. Picture taken January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Yaser Al-Khodor (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX170U0

With the advent of the armed rebellion in Syria supported by Gulf countries and their assiduous endeavor to overthrow Syrian government which invariably resulted in security instability; in January 2012 , al-Qaeda saw the chance to fill the power vacuum and formally proclaimed its intervention in the Syrian crisis by concocting a new cover name , ‘al-Nusra Front’.

Notwithstanding Washington’s efforts in Syria to dub as many as armed militias from every hue and heft as ‘moderate’, al-Qaeda’s four-year activity in the Syrian crisis —being introduced as champions of democracy by western media— and its clandestine affairs with American-backed guerrillas have came to light.
After a reconciliation reached between al-Nusra Front and other so-called Islamist militias, a joint operation room was set up in the city of Idlib —Fatah Halab— according which the power and control of rebels’ military activities in the city were ceded to al-Nusra Front. This incident caused an eruption of controversy in western and Arabic media outlets alike.
Earlier this month, the online newspaper al-Monitor, examined loosely the relationship between various armed groups such as Ahrar ash-Sham, Faylaq Al-Sham, Jabhat al-Shamiya and Jaish al-Mujahideen with al-Qaeda’s s Syria branch, al-Nusra Front.
Moreover, the very fact that seven battalions which adhere to the self-styled ‘Free Syrian Army’ are members of the Fatah Halab joint operation room, corroborates the reports, exposing their extended co-operation with al-Qaeda militants.
In this regard, Alquds Alarabi Newspaper in a shocking exposé claimed that al-Nusra Front confiscates one-third of the military aid granted by western powers to the ‘Free Syrian Army’. However, the intelligence reports show that several units of the ‘Free Syrian Army’ have voluntarily supplied al-Nusra Front with U.S. anti-tank TOW missile in order to topple the Syrian legitimate administration.
Taking into account the incontrovertible fact that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar are the two most influential parties among the rebels in Syria , the observers believe that Doha and Riyadh exhorted other militant groups to accept al-Nusra Front’s ultimate supremacy due to latter’s military prowess achieved during the myriad of conflicts throughout precious decades, i.e. war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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