Free Syrian Army rebels defect to Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra

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Mona Mahmood and Ian Black
guardian.co.uk
May 8, 2013

Syria’s main armed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is losing fighters and capabilities to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist organisation with links to al-Qaida that is emerging as the best-equipped, financed and motivated force fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Evidence of the growing strength of al-Nusra, gathered from Guardian interviews with FSA commanders across Syria, underlines the dilemma for the US, Britain and other governments as they ponder the question of arming anti-Assad rebels.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said that if negotiations went ahead between the Syrian government and the opposition – as the US and Russia proposed on Tuesday – “then hopefully [arming the Syrian rebels] would not be necessary”.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

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