The possibility of the Nusra Front announcing the severance of its ties with Al-Qaeda has returned to the forefront after intensified talk emerged online from those close to the group.
The issue has divided the opinions of Syrians about the announcement’s usefulness — especially given that the Front has incited the anger of many Syrians because of its practices in the areas where it is present in northern Syria.
So far there has been no certain information indicating the cutting of ties with Al-Qaeda. Syrians see the affiliation of Nusra with Al-Qaeda as a reason for dragging woe upon the Syrian revolution and the areas in which Nusra is present, especially given that a large number of its bases are located in civilian areas, which has led to the deaths of civilians during bombings by the coalition.
Facebook and Twitter accounts close to Nusra have spoken about the approach of the announcement, and some pages loyal to the group have gone on to talk about the possibility of the Nusra leader Abou Mohamed al-Jolani appearing in a video recording to speak about breaking ties with Al-Qaeda.
People close to Nusra have written on Twitter that there are divisions inside the group around the possibility of its divorce from Al-Qaeda, saying that it is possible that Nusra will change its name to the Fatah al-Sham Front.
These people note that the dispute has ciculated within the Shoura council, with some members supporting the step of breaking ties and others rejecting it.
The extent of the split seems clear in the opinions of those who support it and those who reject it, with others questioning the behavior of Nusra and the possibility of it changing even if it announces its divorce. “The issue is not breaking ties, but changing the ideas and behavior,” said one Syrian.
The talk about Nusra breaking ties with Al-Qaeda comes after the Americans and Russians reached a deal on eradicating Nusra Front and the Islamic State group in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human rights said on Sunday evening that Arab governments, in agreement with Western countries, had called on the Nusra Front to break ties with Al-Qaeda, although “they do not mind it maintaining intellectual links with Al-Qaeda, and this is in order to avoid Russian bombardment.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.