Syria-based Nusra Front, which formally was called Jabhat al-Nusra, was affiliated with al-Qaeda in Syria for the past 5 years.
The leader of the group announced it would cut ties it has with al-Qaeda to become independent and said it was given al-Qaeda’s blessing as well.
This announcement comes from Abu Mohammed al-Julani the leader of Nusra Front in his statement on video.
Julani announced his organization would change its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which when translated means to the Front of the Conquest of Syria/the Levant. The group is to have no affiliation with an external entity.
The reason the split took place and why it was endorsed by al-Qaeda was to eliminate a pretext that powers use, which includes the United States. as well as Russia, to attack Syrians.
Julani basically things his group is treated unfairly due to being linked with al-Qaeda. With it now being rebranded as an entity that is independent with no alliance to other groups, it is not giving any foreign powers a reason to bomb them.
Ahmed Hassan Abu al-Khayr the second in charge of al-Qaeda said that the leadership of Nusra was instructed to go forward with what it calls interests of Muslim and Islam.
The Russians need little pretext for bombing the enemies of Syria’s regime and the United States has clearly not bought into the rebranding theory.
A spokesperson for the White House said he was not even taking the trouble to worry about using the new name of Nusra.
The U.S. continues to asses that the leaders of Nusra Front maintain intent as well to conduct terror attacks within the region and against those from the West said there continued to be growing concern about the increasing capacity of Nusra Front’s for external plots that might threaten both Europe and the U.S.
A report released earlier in 2016, portrayed Nusra Front creating more danger to the United States that ISIS in the long term.
A spokesperson from the U.S. State Department said they judge any group and that includes this one far more its ideology, goals and actions.
Just weeks ago, the U.S. announced a cooperation with forces from Russia versus Nusra Front in order to help restore an end of hostilities, reduce violence significantly and create space for credible and genuine transition politically in Syria.