World Bulletin / News Desk
The United States is considering blacklisting an Islamist Syrian rebel group they accused of ties to al Qaeda, U.S. officials said on Wednesday ahead of an international meeting next week on aiding the Syrian opposition.
U.S. officials confirmed that Jabhat al-Nusra, a small but influential rebel group, was under review for blacklisting.
Formal announcement of the U.S. move could come at next week's Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Morocco, where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to throw stronger U.S. support behind the new opposition formed after heavy US pressure.
A formal inclusion of Jabhat al-Nusra on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations would mark a symbolic effort to sideline it as a future player.
U.S. blacklisting freezes any assets that the group or its members have in U.S. jurisdictions, and prohibits Americans from giving the group material support.
The State Department said Wednesday that Clinton would attend the Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakech on Dec 11-13 as part of a regional tour that will also take her to Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Most analysts expect Clinton to use the meeting to announce that the United States will recognize the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people - a diplomatic upgrade intended to buttress the group and it seeks to prepare for a post-Assad Syria.Last Mod: 06 Aralık 2012, 09:53