[Marxism] FSA Southern Front: No ties with Nusra, no ties with any foreign agendas

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 05:32:27 MDT 2015

Why Southern Rebels Distanced Themselves from Jabhat al Nusra

By Scott Lucas April 16, 2015 12:00
Story Highlights
•    Free Syrian Army spokesman explains detachment from Jabhat al-Nusra
•    Faction should "break its ties with Al Qa'eda"
•    Move comes amid Southern Front advances v. regime in south

On Monday, rebel brigades in the Southern Front bloc issued 
announcements Monday distancing themselves from cooperation with Jabhat 
a-Nusra and calling on the Islamic faction to modify its hardline 
Free Syrian advisor Usama Abu Zeid later explained the move in an 
interview with pro-opposition Al-Hadath News, translated by Syria 
Abu Zeid also pointedly criticized media for reducing the achievements 
of rebels to “Jabhat al-Nusra”, while blaming the rebel groups for any 
First of all, these announcements came from a place of responsibility 
towards the nation, and towards the Syrian cause. Nusra needs to act and 
split off from Al Qa’eda, because the continued connection between Nusra 
and al-Qaida makes things easier for the governments and bodies that 
want to keep Assad afloat.
Secondly, the harsh language in these announcements is not intended as a 
declaration of war. Rather, it is intended as a strong push for Nusra to 
determine its options and take steps [to benefit] the Syrian revolution, 
and break its ties with Al-Qa’eda.
Third, the Syrian revolution can absorb differences in ideas and 
opinions, as long as these ideas and opinions fall within the framework 
of the national Syrian revolution. Subsequently, there is a refusal of 
transnational agendas, whether they are agendas adopted by organizations 
[e.g. Jabhat al-Nusra] or outside governments.
Jabhat al-Nusra needs to understand that this is not a declaration of 
war. The FSA has exercised self-restraint in several situations, and has 
made the national interest and the gains of the Syrian revolution the 
top priority. The FSA has not taken upon itself the decision to face off 
[with Nusra]. Jabhat al-Nusra needs to understand that its connection to 
Al Qa’eda hurts the Syrian interest.
The fourth point that I’d like to focus on is the negative role 
governmental bodies and some media institutions are playing, which has 
created a state of frustration in the ranks of the FSA. These groups 
attribute all the victories occurring in Syria to Jabhat al-Nusra, 
inasmuch as the media focuses on Jabhat al-Nusra [while covering] all 
these victories.
There is also, lately, a focus on Daraa [Province in southern Syria]. 
Your honorable guest, who you were hosting minutes ago, attributed all 
the victories in Nassib [the border crossing with Jordan], Busra 
aL-Sham, and Kafr Shams to Islamist groups. But when cases of theft and 
looting occurred at the Nasib border crossing [with Jordan,] the Syrian 
opposition became the ones responsible for that. That is to say, when 
there’s a victory that means Nusra, and when there’s something negative, 
everyone runs in the direction of the Syrian opposition. This also 
creates a state of frustration. We want to direct a message to the 
media, to convey the real picture of what’s happening on the ground. The 
FSA has a large role in the victories in Daraa and Quneitra, and 
ignoring these accomplishments leads to frustration.
The announcements included a clear decision: as long as Nusra is walking 
in this direction, we cannot cooperate with them. The ball is in Nusra’s 
court, and they need to think carefully about the fact that the 
legitimacy that they gained in Syria is the legitimacy of combating the 
Assad regime, not for the sake of fighting other rebel brigades or 
telling them what to do.
Their legitimacy to bear arms arose from their aid towards the Syrian 
revolution, and Nusra needs to abide by the standards and national 
framework of the Syrian revolution.
We repeat that Nusra’s connection with Al-Qa’eda ends up helping all the 
enemies of the Syrian revolution to keep the Assad regime afloat on the 
international and regional level, and in the media. I think that they 
need to think carefully, and the issue is not one of threats nor war 
We’re in a crisis today. We’re in a situation that does not allow 
exploration into tangential issues. We need to think boldly, make wise 
decisions and think about the interest of Syrians who have been bombed 
and killed for four years. Tangential conflicts are not in our interest. 
We need to put Syria’s interest first, and break our ties with all 
foreign agendas 

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