Syrian Rebels Defy U.S., Pledge Allegiance to Jihadi Group - Ruth Sherlock
29 opposition groups have signed a petition calling for mass demonstrations in support of Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist group which the White House believes is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The petition is promoting the slogan "No to American intervention, for we are all Jabhat al-Nusra."
Aided by fighters from abroad and Syrians who have returned from other wars in the Middle East, Jabhat al-Nusra has led battles for a number of military bases. Along with allied jihadist groups, it captured the Sheikh Suleiman base west of Aleppo on Sunday. Many Free Syrian Army leaders recognize its strength and order their forces to cooperate with it.
The rise of Jabhat al-Nusra represents the Americans' worst fear - they refused to arm the rebels earlier in the conflict to avoid weapons falling into the hands of jihadists, only to find that in their absence, jihadi groups well-funded by supporters in the Gulf have risen to prominence. (Telegraph-UK)