Al-Qaeda in Syria Now Officially a “Moderate Rebel” Group

Kurt Nimmo

Last week MintPress News reported al-Nusra has rebranded itself as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and by doing so is no longer on the U.S. terror watchlist.

This frees up the most effective jihadist “rebel” group in Syria to continue the CIA instigated war against Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The State Department has yet to put Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on the terror watchlist and it probably will not do so anytime soon. The Syrian Arab Army is beginning to make progress in the war.

But the State Department is likely hesitant to label HTS a terror group, even despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the U.S. government has directly funded and armed the al-Zenki Movement, a group that joined forces with al-Nusra under the HTS banner.

The Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement is comparable to al-Nusra, now HTS. It is a rabid and murderous Wahhabi group that has executed journalists, humanitarian workers, and thrown people off buildings in Aleppo. It was accused of beheading a Palestinian boy named Abdullah Tayseer Al Issa.

The rebranding of al-Nusra to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a strategic move. HTS has linked up with the Ansar al-Din Front, Jaysh al-Sunna, Liwa al-Haqq, and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement to consolidate al-Qaeda’s fanatical ideology under one banner and get their hands on as many weapons as possible.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, like its predecessor al-Nusra, is committed to turning secular Syria into a Wahhabi emirate led by al-Qaeda. A 2012 declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document predicts this will eventually be the outcome—in other words, for the United States, this is the preferred outcome of a “civil war” that has killed over a half million people.

Al-Nusra claimed it received sophisticated weapons from the United States.

…al-Nusra’s top commanders have asserted that they have received U.S.-made weapons, such as TOW missiles and tanks, directly from foreign governments supported by the U.S. In a 2016 interview with the newspaper Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger, al-Nusra unit commander Abu Al Ezz stated that when al-Nusra was “besieged, we had officers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America here…Experts in the use of satellites, rockets, reconnaissance and thermal security cameras.”

This is backed up by the fact the U.S. has only targeted the Islamic State or Daesh and not al-Nusra positions.

With al-Nusra now officially removed from Western terror watchlists, foreign governments that are opposed to the Assad regime—particularly the U.S.—will be free to fund and arm al-Qaeda as they see fit, making the West’s alleged goal of creating a post-Assad “secular Syria” a remote possibility at best.

This is certainly the plan. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda now have a presence in both Iraq and Libya, two countries reduced to failed states by the United States.

The same process is now at work in Africa. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Shabab, and Boko Harem provide a pretext for AFRICOM’s move into al-Wigh, a Saharan desert oasis near Libya’s borders with Niger, Chad, and Algeria. AFRICOM’s main base is located at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

The U.S. military has bases and encampments across Africa—in Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and many other countries.

Africa’s vast mineral wealth can only be looted by transnational corporations if the African people are subdued—and the austere Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam is an ideal candidate for authoritarian rule.

Oil corporations thought this was the case in Afghanistan after the Taliban won a bloody civil war. When the Taliban didn’t agree to a pipeline deal, the Bush administration drew up plans to invade the country—months before the attack of September 11, 2001.