August 15, 2016


Iranian military official: We will 'uproot' Jabhat al-Nusra (Ali Hashem, August 15, 2016, Al Monitor)

"Nothing really happened," an Iranian military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. "What does it really mean in the field? ... It's only a public relations move that makes it easier for backers of the terrorist group to pay money and send arms [to it] without being criticized. So rather than paying in secret, they'll do it openly."

To Iran, Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fatah and Ahrar al-Sham are much more dangerous than the Islamic State, the Iranian military source told Al-Monitor. "International and regional backers are doing whatever possible to tell the world that these groups are moderate Islamists, while they know that they are all -- like Daesh -- of the same origin, which is al-Qaeda." The Iranian military source said, "Today, the central command of al-Qaeda is weak. The killing of Osama bin Laden left the group with nothing but some heritage that's being exploited every now and then by its leaders to preserve influence, but now that even this heritage is gone, the [al-Qaeda-linked] groups are giving up their 'mother' because of her enemies. But this means that one day, when they are stronger, they [al-Qaeda affiliates] won't mind giving up their new allies for whoever will preserve their existence. That's why we are going to rid the world of them." The Iranian military source told Al-Monitor, "For years now, we've been doing our duty without looking at names and without giving attention to whoever is backing and supporting [these groups]. We'll continue to do what we have to do, wherever we need to be, and whether it's Nusra, al-Qaeda, Daesh -- or the new name it [Jabhat al-Nusra, now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham] was given -- our mandate is to uproot it and rid the region of such a terrorist group." He told Al-Monitor, "But it's not us who should be on alert; it's their backers who will be the first to be hit. Those who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks were one day sweethearts of the United States in Afghanistan, and there's no doubt that those in Syria, when strong enough, will want to do 10 times what happened in New York in 2001. We know our enemy well, but others -- despite their advanced techniques in foreseeing dangers -- are still supporting their real enemies."

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's parliamentary national security and foreign policy commission, said Aug. 4, "Dividing terrorists between good ones and bad ones doesn't change anything." Following a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Boroujerdi said, "Changing the names of terrorist groups doesn't change the fact that they are terrorists. This won't change the nature of such groups, and Jabhat al-Nusra continues to embrace the same radical, terrorist mentality despite the name change."

Posted by at August 15, 2016 8:11 PM