"UN Warns Libyan Weapons Spreading to Gaza, Syria," by Chana Ya'ar for Israel National News, April 10
Obama's illogical foreign policy is dangerous. Such idiocy is a bloody game changer.
"Syria's Al-Nusra pledges allegiance to Al-Qaeda" April 10 (AFP)
DAMASCUS — The head of Syria's jihadist Al-Nusra Front has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, but distanced his group from claims it has merged with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Al-Nusra's announcement on Wednesday is likely to bolster assertions by President Bashar al-Assad's regime that it is fighting "terrorists" who want to impose an Islamic state.
"The sons of Al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri," Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said in a recording.
But, he added, "we were not consulted" on a claim by Al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday of a merger with Al-Nusra.
"We inform you that neither the Al-Nusra command nor its consultative council, nor its general manager were aware of this announcement. It reached them via the media and if the speech is authentic, we were not consulted."
Jawlani stressed his group would not change.
"Al-Nusra Front will not change its flag, though we will continue to be proud of the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq, of those who carry it and those who sacrifice themselves and shed their blood for it," said Jawlani, acknowledging he had fought in Iraq alongside the ISI, Al-Qaeda's Iraqi offshoot.
Jawlani's comments came a day after the ISI announced Al-Nusra was part of its network, confirming long-held suspicions that led the United States to put the group on its terror blacklist.
The announcement followed a message from Zawahiri, urging rebels to fight to establish an Islamic state in Syria, and was received with caution by the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army.
"We will not accept any group imposing its ideology. Who says we want to build an Islamic caliphate, or that we're even thinking about that, while Syria is burning?"
The West has been wary, and the announcements this week are likely to complicate any attempt to arm the rebels.
The US and EU are now providing non-lethal aid to the rebels, but Britain and France want an EU arms embargo on Syria lifted so they can supply the rebels with weapons.
Despite the announcements, a group of pro-opposition government representatives, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, would meet next week in Istanbul to discuss Syria, a US State Department official said, asking not to be identified.
In London, Syrian opposition leaders met with Kerry on the sidelines of the G8 talks, where they renewed appeals to be supplied with arms without going into specifics.