from The Anti Media:
The State Department moved quickly to deny a Syrian rebel commander’s recent allegations that the United States is offering arms and military equipment to extremist groups in the Syrian civil war.
On Monday, German newspaper Köelner Stadt-Anzeiger published an interview with Abu Al Ezz, a commander in the Nusra Front, in which he claimed that the United States offers indirect support to his group by sending equipment and aid via allied countries.
“Yes, the US supports the opposition [in Syria], but not directly. They support the countries that support us. But we are not yet satisfied with this support,” Al Ezz said, according to a translation published by RT.
The Nusra Front, or Jabhat-al-Nusra, recently attempted to rebrand itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and distance itself from its traditional allies, the terrorist group al-Qaida. However, the group’s leadership and extremist ideology remain unchanged, and both RT and Köelner Stadt-Anzeiger continue to refer to the group by its former name.
According to Al Ezz, U.S. materiel has been key in turning the tide against Syrian army forces:
“Due to these rockets [American-made TOW anti-tank missiles], we reached a balance with the regime. Our tanks came from Libya via Turkey, joined by the [BM-21] multiple rocket launchers.”
“The [Assad] government forces have an advantage because of aircraft and missile launchers, but “we have the American-made TOW missiles, and the situation in some areas is under control,” Al Ezz added.
When asked if the TOW missiles were initially intended for Jabhat Al-Nusra or if the group obtained them from the moderate Free Syrian Army, the jihadist clarified: “No, the missiles were given to us directly.”
But Al Ezz went on to add that training on how to use these weapons came directly from the US and its allies. When Jabhat Al-Nusra was besieged, Al Ezz said they “had officers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America here… Experts in the use of satellites, rockets, reconnaissance and thermal security cameras.”
The German journalist asked if US instructors were really present among the jihadists’ ranks. Al Ezz replied: “The Americans are on our side.”
Al Ezz added that Jabhat Al-Nusra received funding from US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel for achieving specific military goals during the Syrian conflict.
“We got 500 million Syrian pounds (around $2.3 million) from Saudi Arabia. To capture the Infantry School in Al Muslimiya years ago we received 1.5 million Kuwaiti dinars (around $500,000) and Saudi Arabia’s $5 million,” Al Ezz said.
The funds came from the “governments” of those states, not from private individuals, he added.
“Israel is now giving us support because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hezbollah,” Al Ezz said.
As for the ceasefire, the Nusra Front and its allies are refusing to honor it, he said. “We will carry out the next overwhelming attack against the regime in a few days. We have regrouped our forces in all provinces, including Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.”
The Nusra Front and its allies are refusing to honor the ceasefire, he said. “We will carry out the next overwhelming attack against the regime in a few days. We have regrouped our forces in all provinces, including Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.”
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