26 Facts About Jabhat al-Nusra


Tactics of Jabhat al-Nusra Front differed markedly from those of rival jihadist group ISIL; whereas ISIL has alienated local populations by demanding their allegiance and carrying out beheadings, Jabhat al-Nusra Front cooperated with other militant groups and declined to impose sharia law where there has been opposition.

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On 10 June 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra fighters shot dead at least 20 Druze civilians in a village after one of them, a supporter of the Assad regime, opposed the expropriation of his house by a Nusra commander.

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Leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, a self-proclaimed emir, goes by the name of Abu Mohammad al-Julani, which implies that he is from the Golan Heights.

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Deputy leader and senior religious official in Jabhat al-Nusra Left the group after the formation of Tahrir al-Sham.

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All statements and videos by Jabhat al-Nusra Front have been released by its media outlet, al-Manarah al-Bayda, via the leading jihadist webforum Shamoukh al-Islam.

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Western observers and a Syrian observer considered such a split unlikely, and in March 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra's leadership denied a break-up or that talks with Qatar had occurred.

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The British The Daily Telegraph stated in December 2012 that many foreign Jabhat al-Nusra fighters were hardened veterans from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Days earlier, the American ambassador to Syria, R Ford, had said: "Extremist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra are a problem, an obstacle to finding the political solution that Syria's going to need".

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An Jabhat al-Nusra-affiliated group announced the formation of the "Free Ones of the Levant Battalions", in a YouTube video statement that was released on 23 January 2012.

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On 5 June 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the killings, stating that they had captured and interrogated the soldiers in Deir ez-Zor and "justly" punished them with death, after they confessed to crimes.

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On 17 June 2012, Walid Ahmad al-Ayesh, described by Syrian authorities as the "right hand" of Jabhat al-Nusra Front, was killed when Syrian authorities discovered his hiding place.

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Jabhat al-Nusra was reportedly responsible for the making of car bombs that were used to attack Damascus in the previous months.

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In December 2013, Jabhat al-Nusra abducted 13 nuns from a Christian monastery in Maaloula.

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On 8 April 2013, the leader of the then Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released a recorded audio message on the Internet, in which he announced that Jabhat al-Nusra was part of his network, and that he was merging Jabhat al-Nusra with ISI into one group, "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham", under his command.

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In November 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbandment of ISIL and said Jabhat al-Nusra should be considered the al-Qaeda branch in Syria, and bestowed the title "Tanzim Qa'edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham" on them, officially integrating Nusra into al-Qaeda's global network.

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Some units of Jabhat al-Nusra began taking part in clashes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in late 2013.

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In late October 2014, Jabhat al-Nusra began attacking some FSA and moderate Islamist groups that it was formerly allied with, reportedly in a bid to eventually establish its own Islamic state in the cities it controlled in Idlib Governorate and other neighbouring Governorates.

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In June 2015, fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra massacred 20 Druze villagers in Idlib province located in north-west Syria.

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In October 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra offered bounties worth millions of dollars for the killing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

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On 9 March 2015, in a statement issued on Twitter, Jabhat al-Nusra denied "completely all reports of a meeting with Qatari" and reports of a break-up with al-Qaeda.

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Jabhat al-Nusra was the emir for the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Jihad in Central Asia.

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In November 2014, Jabhat al-Nusra claimed to have captured US -made TOW anti-tank missiles supplied by the United States to moderate anti-Assad rebels.

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Jabhat al-Nusra said "There is no choice but to escalate the battle and to target Alawite towns and villages in Latakia".

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On 10 September 2013, Jabhat al-Nusra fighters attacked the Alawite village of Maksar al-Hesan, in Homs province.

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On 10 June 2015, the Jabhat al-Nusra killed at least 20 Druze villagers in Qalb Lawzeh in Idlib province.

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Jabhat al-Nusra was interrogated at al-Nusra's headquarters before the evacuation.

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