Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front part ways

Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front part ways
A still image taken on July 29, 2016 from an undated video shows Abu Mohamad al-Golani (C), the leader of the Syrian Islamist rebel group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formely known as Nusra Front, delivering a statemtent at an unknown location. (Orient TV/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 30 July 2016

Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front part ways

Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front part ways

BEIRUT: The Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, said Thursday it was breaking ties with the global terror network, in a video showing its leader Abu Mohamad Al-Jolani for the first time.
The footage broadcast by Al-Jazeera news channel follows several days of online chatter over a split between Al-Qaeda and its Syria affiliate, a main rival of Daesh from which it wants to distance itself as a target of foreign air strikes.
Appearing in public for the first time, Jolani said Al-Nusra changed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (Front of the Conquest of Syria) and would unify ranks with other mainstream fighters in Syria.
“We decided to stop operating under the banner of Al-Nusra and to set up a new front, called Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham,” he said. Clad in military fatigues and wearing a turban, the bearded Jolani thanked “the commanders of Al-Qaeda for having understood the need to break ties.”
And he vowed the new group would “have no links whatsoever with foreign parties.”
Analysts said Al-Nusra aims to rebrand and defend itself as it comes under increased pressure after Moscow and Washington agreed to step up joint efforts against extremist groups.
In the brief recording, Jolani, flanked by two bearded men, said the split was aimed at “protecting the Syrian revolution” and to offset any excuse by the international community to target Al-Nusra.