DAMASCUS — The head of Syria's jihadist Al-Nusra Front pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri on Wednesday, but distanced his group from claims it had merged with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The announcement is likely to bolster assertions by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that it is fighting "terrorists" who want to impose an Islamic state, and could further complicate Western attempts to help rebel forces.
"The sons of Al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri," Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said in the recording.
But, he added, "we were not consulted" on an announcement by Al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday of a merger with Al-Nusra Front.
"We inform you that neither the Al-Nusra command nor its consultative council, nor its general manager were aware of this announcement. It reached them via the media and if the speech is authentic, we were not consulted," Jawlani said.
He added that the group would not be changing its flag or its "behaviour".
"Al-Nusra Front will not change its flag, though we will continue to be proud of the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq, of those who carry it and those who sacrifice themselves and shed their blood for it," said Jawlani, acknowledging he had fought in Iraq alongside the ISI, Al-Qaeda's Iraqi branch.
"We reassure our brothers in Syria that Al-Nusra Front's behaviour will remain faithful to the image you have come to know, and that our allegiance (to Al-Qaeda) will not affect our politics in any way," he added, keen to assert the group's autonomy.
Jawlani's comments came a day after the ISI made a surprise announcement that Al-Nusra was part of its network, confirming long-held suspicions that led the United States to put the Syrian jihadist group on its terror blacklist.
"It is time to declare to the Levant and to the world that the Al-Nusra Front is simply a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq," ISI chief Baghdadi said in an audio message.
First of all, CLG does a good job of pointing out that -Zawahiri, has been captured, imprisoned, and killed about 80 times since the powers that be first started using him way back in Iraq. LOL Second of all, the rebels are loyal to al Qaeda, because Al Qaeda is CIA/Mossad operatives and are funding the so called overthrowing rebels..... just like all the other ME countries and they are probably the same rebels. LOL All ME countries that have been destroyed by the US and Israel are part of the agenda of Israel to expand into a greater Israel and they even have a map showing it way before they began this and it shows the very same countries they have already taken over.
Now, to make the point that attacking Iran has nothing to do with their supporting anybody, there are more Jewish people living in Iran than anywhere else in the ME, with the exception of Israel, but because of the forced violence against Real Jews in Israel that might have changed. Real Jews are having to seek asylum in both NY and London, so the population of Jewish in Iran may actually be more than in Israel now. But then the khazars Zionists are admitted racists against the real semitic Jews, so it makes sense that they would not care they are killing their own supposed people when they attack Iran, it would be a side benefit for them since the real Jews are religious and the khazars are pagans/satanists and hate the monotheistic God and Christ that the Muslims and Christians worship as well as the semitic Jews. So we can understand why they are always killing them off whenever they can. Remember 2/3rds of Hitlers leadership in nazi germany were Zionists. Yeah, I know, I had no idea til recently.