Nusra Front Accuses US of Betraying Syrian Revolution, Calls for Continuing Jihad

In a video recording released by the Nusra Front yesterday, titled Advancing in Your Victory, Sheikh Abdallah Atwan, nicknamed Abu Abdallah al-Shami and member of the Nusra Front’s Shura Council, accuses the United States of betraying the Syrian revolution and changing its attitudes toward the Assad regime and its allies. This article reviews the most important statements in this recording.

US Double Standards

Early in the video, al-Shami states that after the US-led war in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic crisis that hit the country in 2008, the United States decided not to bear the consequences of regional and international interventions individually. Instead, it worked to engage and involve new players, leaving its allies to manage the crises in the region in line with US and Israeli interests. Al-Shami emphasizes that this is exactly what the United States has done in Syria since the outbreak of the revolution.

Al-Shami contends that several traits characterize US actions throughout the Syrian crisis, the most important of which are confused decision-making, political maneuvering, and misleading political statements. He adds that in in Syria, the US made a series of political moves in the interest of the “Nusayri” regime (a pejorative term for the Assad regime). He then accuses the US of taking Assad’s side, in an attempt to “break the will of the Muslim people who revolted against their executioners.”

Abu Abdallah al-Shami then describes a number of contradictions that have characterized US behavior in the Syrian crisis, for example:

  • “The United States called for the removal of Assad from power, then reversed course and said that his departure would be a mistake.”
  • “The United States turned a blind eye to Assad’s use of chemical weapons, although it stated the issue was red line.”
  • “After promoting the concept of a safe zone, the United States singlehandedly hindered its establishment. In fact it extend the influence of the Democratic Union Party over the Turkish-Syrian border, in order to increase the suffering of the Syrian people.”
  • “The United States, even though it imposed sanctions on regime figures and condemned Russia’s arms deals, has permitted the Russians and Iranians to provide unlimited support to the Assad regime.”
  • “The United States condoned the Russian intervention, and even backed it in order to entange the Russians politically and militarily, while at the same time dividing spheres of influence with Russia at the expense of the Syrian people.”
  • “The United States falsely legitimized the Russian intervention. It also played a role in exerting pressure on the opposition, threatening it, forcing its supporters to stop backing it, and tightening the noose around various opposition forces in order to push them to accept a formal political solution that leads to a transitional government, “in treasonous exchange for promises of worthless ministerial portfolios.”

US Aims to Divide Syria

Abu Abdallah al-Shami discusses US objectives behind adopting a contradictory policy. In his view, the first of these goals is “to accelerate the division of Syria, commensurate with the interests of America and its allies, since US policy in Syria is aimed at protecting its interests in the region, as well as securing Israel.” The only way to achieve this is to keep Assad in the political equation in order to maintain “the security and interests of the Jews.” As a sign of how Israel has benefited from the Syrian conflict, al-Shami notes that Israel has convened a government meeting In the Golan Heights for the first time since their occupation.

As part of Al-Shami’s accusations of US support for Assad, he stresses that Washington not only supported Assad as part of its policies to support dictatorships throughout its “black history,” but also “applied classifications to Mujahideen forces in an attempt to divide them. It classified the Nusra Front as a terrorist group to drive people away from it.” However, this backfired, instead causing the people of the Levant to rally around the group. Then, the United States placed the Nusra Front under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in order to justify a military strike.

According to al-Shami, through these decisions, the United States committed an unforgivable sin by targeting the Mujahideen and their training centers and killing their leaders. America exposed itself to the fury of Muslims in the Levant and the anger of Muslims in general, and they will continue to seek revenge. Al-Shami alleges the strikes were in support of the regime and its allies, emphasizing that after any victory for the Mujahideen on Assad forces and his allies, US strikes next take aim at Mujahideen camps. On the other hand, Assad military strongholds, defense factories, and barrel bomb manufacturing sites were not targeted in any strikes. He explained that such practices show that “the slogans of the United States are merely false pretenses to cover up its embarrassment and brutality.”

Al-Shami then points to the latest US crimes, where, according to him, the United States bombed a group of Mujahideen in Abi Al-Zuhour Airport near the southern countryside of Aleppo. This bombing halted Mujahideen progress, which had been advancing on several fronts before the strike.

In close of the recording, Al-Shami states the Levant today is home to a new generation that grew up hearing the sound of guns and planes, and before which “the masks of the ignorant tyranny represented in the hypocritical world order” have fallen away. Despite, the confluence of alliances, the people have no fear of jihad. He closes by calling on Mujahideen of the various factions to uncompromisingly continue jihad to fight for the oppressed.

Image: Photo: A still from the Nusra Front statement titled "Advancing in Your Victory."