Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) – The decision of the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist group to take a new name and announce that it has formally left the al Qaida network, represents “purely a tactical move to accredit the simulacrum of an imaginary 'moderate Islamist rebellion' said to be among the variety of forces involved in the war against Assad. An entity which in actual fact does not exist”. This is the conviction of Syrian Jesuit Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo. “A change of name and a declaration in words that the group has left the al Qaida network” the Bishop of Syria’s martyr city tells Fides , “changes absolutely nothing at the level of reality. They remain the same, members of the same jihadist Sunni extremism. The change of name is purely tactical. A deceptive game to try to present themselves as representatives of that imaginary 'moderate Syrian opposition ' which certain powers appear to need to continue to pursue their own plans for Syria”.
Yesterday, Thursday 28 July, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, military chief of the al Nusra front, announced that from now on the group will call itself Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham (“Front for the Conquest of the East”).
In a video, shown only on al-Jazeera, al-Jawlani also confirmed al Nusra’s exit from the al Qaida network, motivating the decision with the intention of “reducing distances between Jihadist factions” operating in the Syrian conflict. In the same video however, the jihadist leader thanked the present leaders of al-Qaeda (the jihadist network created by Osama Bin Laden) "for understanding the need to sever the link". In the past, in several local situations, al Nusra militia were used in armed combat for control of the territory also with jihadists of the so called Islamic state (Daesh). (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/7/2016).