Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Nusra Front leader fails expectations, hopes

Tsunami | 2015-06-04 00:00:00
Nusra Front leader fails expectations, hopes
By Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud, Editor in-chief

Most Syrians assume that Abu Mohamad al-Golani's interview with Al Jazeera, aired this week, was a disappointing for some supporters, rivals and even sympathizers.

Although the two-part interview on the Qatari-financed channel appeared to be an attempt by Nusra Front to cast itself to an Arab audience as a Syrian national movement, Golani did not seem convincing.

A Western diplomat in the Qatari capital Doha told Reuters there was a new push by the Gulf Arab state to present Nusra to the Arab world as a Syrian national movement and that the Golani interview appeared to be a step towards that.

The interview that reaped pile of analysis reflects that al-Golani had chosen the wrong time since he did not assure predictions saying Nusra will defect al-Qaeda.

On the contrary, Golani made clear that he took orders from al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had told him to focus Nusra's fight on Syria. In the second part in the Interview he evaded a question about whether Nusra was thinking of splitting from al Qaeda.

Source said earlier this year that Nusra Front's leaders had considered cutting ties with al Qaeda to form a new entity backed by some Gulf Arab states trying to topple Assad but Golni statements were a complete disappointment.

Analysts say Nusra Front who is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and has been sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council, has lost the chance to prove good will.

Golani can not be a historic leader such as Osama Bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, some hardline Islamist thinkers said on Social Media, al-Golani seems an amateur man who needs an expertese to handle such post, others say.

It was not clear where the interview took place and Golani's face was not shown. He sat on an ornate chair opposite the interviewer with his back to the camera.

Syrian people are looking for the shortest way that avoid the country partition as facts and proposed scenarios by some internationals powers may make a de facto.
We hope Assad's fall won't take a long time as Golani assured. He promised to focus on Damascus and on toppling the regime and that could be good news.

Golani, Alawites

Syrians also were not amused by Golani’s call for Alawite minority sect, of which Bashar Assad is a member, to change their beliefs in order to be safe. Such a claim will not even serve the Syrian revolution that erupted in March 2011.

His warning to Alawite villages and uncompromising language will do little to dispel Western fears about the growing influence of hardline insurgents in Syria and Nusra's loyalty to al Qaeda, observers said.

Addressing the Alawite community, he said: "If they drop weapons, disavow Assad, do not send their men to fight for him and return to Islam, then they are our brothers," he said.

Golani said the Alawites were part of a sect that had "moved outside the religion of God and of Islam."

The assurances for Christians were clear, "Nusra Front were not at war with Christians," Golani said.

Nusra, ISIS 

The leader of the most powerful faction in Syria opposing both Assad and the Islamic State saw no solution soon to a conflict with the rival Islamic State group in Syria that has killed 700 Nusra Front hundreds since the fighting between the two most powerful groups in Syria erupted in 2013 after a spilt due to a power struggle between leaders.

"There is no solution between us and them in the meantime, or in the foreseeable future. We hope they repent to God and return to their senses...if not then there is nothing but fighting between us," Golani told his flatterer interviewer Ahmad Mansour.

Golani also condemned the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah, which backs Assad, saying Hezbollah knew its fate was linked to the Syrian leader and its efforts to save him were in vain.

The leader, who belongs to the Syrian Occupied Golan Hieghts according to his agnomen, said his war is not with the West.

“Nusra Front's fight was with Assad and Hezbollah, not the West. But when pressed, said that all options were open if U.S.-led forces continued to target it.

Zaman Al Wasl
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