US offers $10 mn reward for ex-Qaeda affiliate chief

Fateh al-Sham has been excluded from the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), as well as previous talks between rebel groups and the government.  

US offers $10 mn reward for ex-Qaeda affiliate chief

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United States is offering a $10 million reward for information to identify or locate the head of Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate the Fateh al-Sham Front.

The State Department's Rewards for Justice reward for information on Abu Mohamed al-Jolani is its first for a leader of the group.

He has been named a "specially designated global terrorist" by the State Department and is also listed at the United Nations Security Council.

In its notice, the State Department indicates that Jolani pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in April 2013 after falling out with ISIL. He praised Al-Qaeda again in an online video posted in July 2016.

Fateh al-Sham Front, previously known as Al-Nusra Front, split from Al-Qaeda in July 2016 from Al-Qaeda in a move analysts said was an abortive attempt to end its blacklisting by the United Nations and Western governments.

It has a contentious relationship with some rebel groups, but many others have allied with it against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, despite its ideology.

"Under Jolani's leadership, ANF has carried out multiple terrorist attacks throughout Syria, often targeting civilians," the State Department notice read.

"In April 2015, ANF reportedly kidnapped, and later released, approximately 300 Kurdish civilians from a checkpoint in Syria. In June 2015, ANF claimed responsibility for the massacre of 20 residents in the Druze village Qalb Lawzeh in Idlib province, Syria."

More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the country's multi-layered conflict erupted with anti-government protests in March 2011.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Mayıs 2017, 18:49