Jabat al-nusra now called jabat fatah al-sham

Al Nusrah front fighters near Aleppo. Propaganda Material

Jihadists want to split from al-Qaida for tactical reasons, but the ideological bar remains the same. The battle rhetoric is now directed against the West and Russia

The details of future U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria (U.S. and Russia: "Concrete steps" against al-Nusra) are to be announced in the first days of August, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Kerry. On the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting, he had spoken with his Russian counterpart Lavrov, and further progress had been made.

UN Special Envoy de Mistura also expects a lot from the deal. The for the 1. The continuation of the Geneva talks scheduled for August is postponed until the end of August. Because agreements between Russia and the USA are crucial, as he has stressed several times before.

Rebranding with al-Nusra in response to

The biggest stir was caused by the news that an agreement between Russia and the U.S. could be reached on the al-Nusra Front. It is, after all, the target of the targeted military and intelligence cooperation between the two rough powers. At the beginning it was said that there were many obstacles, but in the recent past there were more and more signals that the USA and Russia could reach an agreement after all. The al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammad Al Golani responded. As Gulf News reported on Tuesday, Al Golani now intends for the militia to split from al-Qaeda.

Gulf News’ formulation: "announcing his departure from al-Qaeda" already points to PR aspects associated with this action. And, as with a creative agency, the action is presented with a Rebranding topped: Jabhat al Nusra will in future operate under the name Jabhat Fath al-Sham (JFS) "Front for the conquest of al-Sham").

IHS Jane sums up in a few sentences what could develop from this:

The split could remove a rough obstacle to establishing a new Syrian Islamist front with other insurgent groups in Syria, which is more likely to make those groups more radical.

The decision has been made, reports Elijah J. Magnier, an observer of developments in the Syrian opposition. Members of al-Nusra from the leadership had been informed after shura meetings were held at several levels, he said. The official announcement of Abu Mohammed Joulani (resp. al Golani) is only a formality, it is expected in the very near future.

No change in ideology

In his report, as well as in the statements on the matter from the inner circle of al-Nusra, it is clear that the separation from al-Qaida does not mean any change in ideology.

The ideology and doctrine remain taboo, even if the organizational affiliation with Qaeda has ended.

Magnier reports that the al-Nusra Front chose the new name because it was believed to irritate cooperation between the United States and Russia. The USA and the UN did not put the new organization on the list of terrorist organizations, so it would no longer be a target of attacks.

The USA and Russia were drawn ("hold their guns back"), which would give al-Nusra and other militias the opportunity to come together and develop an internal front. Within al-Nusra, he said, they are now convinced that the threat of the "Crusaders" is coarser than the danger posed by the "Kharijites", by which the IS is meant.

A new enemy priority and expectations of a rough influx

This corresponds to the statements in the above-mentioned internal report from the Nusra Front. the text is headed with al-Maqalat. There, it is emphasized that al-Qaida is essentially "a message" is. Let the military tactics or strategy be a field of its own. If, in the fight against the enemy, it is wiser not to demand an oath of allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri, this is not treason, but is directed toward the greater cause of the Ummah.

Jabat al-nusra is now jabat fatah al-sham

Al Nusrah front fighters near Aleppo. Propaganda material

The internal report also emphasizes the shift in priorities. The IS, "The Kharijites", is now weakened, ideologically disavowed anyway, it is no longer the most important enemy. That is now the West, the saculars, the supporters of the Syrian government, etc.," he said. . According to the author of the internal letter, now is a good moment for al-Nusra. The pact between Russia and the United States has led to increased support for the Nusra Front.

Breaking ties with al-Qaeda will pose a dilemma for the USA. If the U.S. insists on bombing Jabhat al-Nusra in collusion and cooperation with Russia, despite the break with al-Qaeda, then this will undoubtedly be proof that the U.S. is helping the Syrian regime and that this is not a war against terrorist organizations, but a war against Muslims and Islam.

These may well be the broad rhetorical lines that will be spouted in the near future by experts, think tanks, media and politicians who have spoken out early against Russian-American cooperation and in support of a "moderate opposition".

In Kerry’s case, this now stands "non-terrorist opposition", What it looks like, how strong it is, whether it can resist the prere from al-Nusra to join it under the new name, or whether the dependencies and proximities are too rough after all, will become clear in the coming weeks. Lavrov may be right. He always claimed that this independent, moderate opposition on the battlefields did not exist at all, but was primarily a terrorist front.

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