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Interview With Al-Nusra Commander “The Americans stand on our side”

from Moon of Alabama

This interview by Jürgen Todenhöfer was first published in German on September 26 2016 by the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, the major newspaper in the Cologne region. (The interview was copied and translated to English by Bernhard for educational and academic purposes.), and is being reproduced here for the same purpose

It was the seventh trip by my son Frederic and me to the civil war country Syria. We were there for 13 days. Words can only barely describe the extend of damage and suffering on both sides.

We conducted the interview ten days ago with a commander of the al-Qaida branch “Jabhat al-Nusra”. Abu al-Ezz reported quite openly about his financiers Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. We were able to exactly research the identity of the man and know practically everything about him.

Interview in the stone quarry in Aleppo

The interview was arranged by a rebel from Aleppo. I have had contacts to Syrian rebels for years. It was conducted outside of Aleppo in a quarry in direct sight- and shooting-distance of Jabhat al-Nusra and could only be reached safely by a member of al-Nusra.

His fighters were partially not masked, i.e. easily identifiable. Part of his statements were nearly verbally confirmed shortly thereafter by a mufti in Aleppo. Other assertions about the lack of interest of rebels towards a ceasefire and an international aid-convoy also bore out. Just like his predictions about planned military activities in several cities of Syria.

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Abu al-Ezz, commander, says about Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda): “We are one part of al-Qaeda. Our principles are: Fighting vice, pureness and security. Our affairs and our way have changed. Israel, for example, is now supporting us, because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hizbullah.

America also changed its opinion about us. Originally “IS” and us were one group. But “IS” was used in the interests of big states like America, for political reasons, and was steered away from our principles. It became clear to us that most of their leaders work with secret security services. We, Jabhat al-Nusra, have our own way. In the past they with us, they were our supporters.

Our aim is the downfall of the dictatorial regime, the tyrannical regime, the regime of the apostate. Our aim is the conduct of conquests, like [the great Arab general] Khaled ibn al-Walid made them. First in the Arab world and then in Europe.”

The Interview by Jürgen Todenhöfer with the rebel commander Abu al-Ezz

Jürgen Todenhöfer: How is the relation between you and the United States? Does the U.S. support the rebels?

Abu al-Ezz: Yes, the U.S. support the opposition, but not directly. They support the countries which support us. But we are not yet satisfied with this support. They should support us with highly developed weapons. We have won battles thanks to the “TOW” missiles. We reached a balance with the regime through these missiles. We received the tanks from Libya through Turkey. Also the “BMs” – multiple rocket launchers. The regime excels us only with their fighter jets, missiles and missile launchers. We captured a share of its missile launchers and a large share came from abroad. But it is through the American “TOW” that we have the situation in some regions under control.

To whom did the U.S. hand those missiles before they were brought to you? Were those missiles first given to the Free Syrian Army by the U.S. and from there to you?

No, the missiles were give directly to us. They were delivered to a certain group. When the “road” was closed and we were besieged we had officers here from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.

What did those officers do?

Experts! Experts for the use of satellites, missiles, reconnaissance work, thermal surveillance cameras …

Were there also American experts?

Yes, experts from several countries.

Including Americans?

Yes. The Americans are on our side, but not as it should be. For example we were told: We must capture and conquer “Battalion 47”. Saudi Arabia gave us 500 million Syrian pounds. For taking the “al-Muslimiya” infantry school years ago we received from Kuwait 1.5 million Kuwaiti dinar and from Saudi Arabia 5 million U.S. dollars.

From the governments or from private persons?

From the governments.

The fight is difficult, the regime is strong and it has support from Russia …?

We will fight until the downfall of the regime. We will fight Russia and the West because the West does not stand on our side. The West only sends us mujahedin, it facilitates the way of those fighters. Why doesn’t the West support us properly? We have many fighters from Germany, France, Great Britain, America, from all western countries.

You have many fighters from Europe in Aleppo with the “al-Nusra front”?

Many, many, many!

How many?

Many.

What do you think about the ceasefire?

We do not recognize the ceasefire. We will reposition our groups. We will undertake in the next, in a few days an overwhelming attack against the regime. We have rearranged all our armed forces in all provinces, in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.

You do not want those 40 trucks with aid supplies to bring those into the eastern part of Aleppo?

We have demands. As longs as the regime is positioned along Castello road, in al-Malah and in the northern areas we will not let those trucks pass. The regime must retreat from all areas in order for us to let the trucks pass. If a truck comes in despite that, we will arrest the driver.

Why did a few of your groups pull back a kilometer or 500 meters from the Castello road?

The regime used highly developed weapons against us. We received a backlash. That is why we silently retreated, to recover and to attack the regime anew. But this attack must lead to the downfall of the regime.

So that was a trick, a military tactic?

Yes, it was a military tactic.

Was the aim of this tactic to receive food or the reallocation of fighters?

We did not agree to the ceasefire.

Does that hold only for the al-Nusra Front or for all other groups, the rest of your allies?

The applies to all our integrated groups, who are our allies.

Islamic Front, Islamic Army?

They are all with us. We are all the al-Nusra Front. A groups is created and calls itself “Islamic Army”, or “Fateh al-Sham”. Each group has its own name but their believe is homogeneous. The general name is al-Nusra Front. One person has, for example, 2,000 fighters. Then het creates from these a new group and calls it “Ahrar al-Sham”. Brothers, who’s believe, thoughts and aims are identical to those of al-Nusra Front.

Is that your own opinion or also the opinion of higher management levels?

That is the general opinion. But if someone comes to you and makes you a ‘moderate fighter’ and offers you to eat and to drink, will you accept that or not?

450,000 people were killed in this war. I have been to Aleppo and Homs. Many parts are destroyed. If the war continues the whole country will be destroyed. Millions will die. … In Germany we once had the ‘Thirty Years’ War’

We are now only 5 years at war, that is comparatively short!

Would you accept someone from the Assad-regime within a transitional government?

We accept no one from the Assad-regime or from the Free Syrian Army, which is called moderate. Our aim is the downfall of the regime and the founding of an Islamic state according to the Islamic sharia.

The people of Aloush, who traveled to Geneva for negotiations, accepted a transitional government.

There are Syrian mercenaries. Aloush fights with the al-Nusra Front. The groups Turkey houses and from which the Free Syrian Army was created have earlier been with al-Nusra Front. These people are weak people, they received a lot of money, they sold themselves. They must follow the orders of their sponsors.

The “Islamic Army and the “ISlamic Front” negotiate in Geneva

Because their leaders were produced in the West. They are counseled and paid by western secret services and the secret services of the Gulf states to fulfill the aims of those countries.

We are here at the most forward observation point of the Sheik Said area. This are is under our control. Behind those houses and al-Majbal are regime soldiers. Our armed forces are 200 meters from here.

-End-

You can read the original German version of the interview at the Kölner Stadtanzeiger

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11 Comments

  1. Has anyone here ever tried to email Moon Of Alabama? I have, with no success. I tried to email Bernhard when my attempt to attach a comment to his recent post about the Trump electoral victory was unsuccessful.

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  2. I am surprised that OG readers didn’t notice the big error in this report, namely that the fighting in Syria is a civil war, which it isn’t.

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  3. Phantastron, Canada says

    An excellent and disturbing report revealing yet again the complicity of Western countries, especially the US, in the support of terrorism in Syria. But do reports like this shape public sentiment? Clearly not! What shapes public sentiment are not the facts of the matter but the emotively charged reality or world view communicated by the MSM day in and day out. A reality that is so persistently and so consistently communicated that its evil purpose cannot be undermined by facts as reported here. This reality ensures that good people will consistently demand what they believe to be good things WHICH ARE IN FACT BAD. In such an environment no leader or influential person, however powerful, has a chance of publicly undermining the dominant sentiments and the associated evil deeds.

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    • Brian Harry, Australia says

      The “Military Industrial Complex” is by far the world’s worst Terrorist………….

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    • Brian Harry, Australia says

      I agree with you. I said the same as you, but nobody agrees with me…..How does that work?

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  4. My Heavens, what more do you need to show American perfidy, gross hypocrisy and betrayal? When will some European leader finally stand up and tell the US, “No more, no more sacrificing Europe for a strange interpretation of American national security”? Obama’s acceptance of this horror make me sick, but what worries me most, is that Mme. Clinton will continue the same support of terrorism, if she gets into the oval office!

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    • Brian Harry, Australia says

      It probably won’t matter who gets into the oval office. The “Military Industrial Complex” is out of control, as ex President Eisenhower predicted it would. The Deep State runs America, and the President is only its hand puppet.

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      • Agreed. The only difference is that Trump would be an ignorant blustering puppet, and Clinton an eager and willing accomplice. God help us all.

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    • zamana says

      Well said. The use of NATO by the US is deplorable, surrounding Russia with ever more air bases. It is time Europe started to pull back. I am not anti-American, but for too long the American Government has been pursuing an agenda which can only lead to World War III.Does the average American citizen have a choice or even know what is going on, the nationalist flag is flying strong. Time and time again the US has chosen to support fascist inspired rebel factions. The country of my birth Britain just appears to be a vassal of the US led by the Tory Government, There is a socialist Labor leader in opposition with a moral character, but he is being attacked by his own parliamentary colleagues who are still following the Tony Blair agenda. Fortunately the Labor Party membership is behind him.

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