Al Qaeda Group Spokesman Rejects Islamic State Alliance Rumors
A Jabhat al-Nusra spokesman tells the blog Syria Direct that rumors of an alliance between his Al Qaeda affiliate and the Islamic State are false.
Western media sources published reports last week that both jihadist factions reached an agreement at a November 2 meeting to stop fighting each other and destroy the U.S.-aligned Syrian Revolutionaries Front.
The spokesman from Jabhat al-Nusra’s media office in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province, identified as Abu Azzam al-Ansari, confirmed that the group sent representatives to meet with those from the Islamic State.
But the Islamic State’s representatives rejected their offer of reconciliation, al-Ansari said.
He showed suspicion of the Islamic State in the interview, saying it has been “penetrated by American [spies]” to give the West an excuse for bombing everyone who “subscribes to the Salafi-jihadi strain of thought.”
Al-Ansari also dismissed the Obama Administration’s use of the term “Khorasan Group,” saying that it really is his own group, Jabhat al-Nusra. The term was used to “mislead” people to hide the fact they were actually fighting Al Qaeda in Syria.
Mentioning the recent fighting between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front that led to the rout of the latter, al-Ansari said his group opposed the “implementation of any foreign agendas” in Syria.
“We’re Muslims, and Allah – blessed be Allah exalted – ordered us to rule with Islam, and we won’t be satisfied to anything else,” al-Ansari said.