Americans are on our side: Nusra commander
A commander of the Takfiri al-Nusra Front, which has recently renamed itself, has reportedly said the United States is supporting the group.
“The Americans are on our side,” said the commander, identified only as Abu al-Ezz, in an interview with German-language daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, RT reported Monday.
He said al-Nusra — now renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham — has been receiving funding from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, and has obtained tanks and artillery from Libya via Turkey as well.
Al-Ezz further praised the delivery to the group of US-supplied TOW anti-tank missiles, saying, “The missiles were given directly to us. They were delivered to a certain group.”
Also on Monday, Syrian Parliament Speaker Hadiya Khalaf Abbas said Washington was siding with Daesh and other militant outfits operating inside the violence-wracked Arab country.
She said the Damascus government is in possession of documents that prove Americans launched the September 17 airstrikes against a Syrian military air base in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in a bid to assist Daesh terrorists.
The US military has claimed the attack, which killed over 80 Syrian soldiers and paved the way for Daesh to advance on the ground, was a mistake.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner categorically dismissed al-Ezz’s remark that Washington is providing Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants with aid, admitting, however, that US allies in the Middle East region may be arming the Takfiris.
“That’s complete poppycock. Whatever he’s saying, no. We would never provide Nusra with any kind of assistance at all,” Toner said.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over the past few months, the Takfiri militants active in the Arab country have suffered major setbacks as the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas.
According to an estimate by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria. The UN no more provides an official death toll from the Syrian conflict.