Key Syrian Rebels Tied to al Qaeda

    In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 photo, a Syrian shouts slogans against the regime in front of a flag of the armed Islamic opposition group, the Nusra front, during a demonstration in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. Arabic from the Quran reads, "There is not God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger." (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)

    Manu Brabo / AP Photo

    One of the most successful groups fighting Bashar al-Assad in Syria is an al Qaeda offshoot, according to officials in Iraq. Fighters from the Nusra Front have distinguished themselves in battle, and isolating the group has become a top priority as American officials eye what appears to be a tottering regime. “This is just a simple way of returning the favor to our Syrian brothers that fought with us on the lands of Iraq,” one al Qaeda veteran who has fought in Syria said. The group may prove hard to blacklist in Syria because of its successes fighting Assad’s forces.

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