Al-Nusra Front fighters. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
Washington Post: Obama directs Pentagon to target al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad
President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to find and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria that the administration had largely ignored until now and that has been at the vanguard of the fight against the Syrian government, U.S. officials said.
The decision to deploy more drones and intelligence assets against the militant group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra reflects Obama’s concern that it is turning parts of Syria into a new base of operations for al-Qaeda on Europe’s southern doorstep, the officials said.
The move underlines the extent to which Obama has come to prioritize the counterterrorism mission in Syria over efforts to pressure President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, as al-Nusra is among the most effective forces battling the Syrian government.
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WNU Editor: This is long overdue. It is also one of the long-standing demands that Russia has been telling the U.S. that they must implement if there is any hope of cooperation in Syria.