Who is the Khorasan group?

The reason the US conducted the strike on Aleppo alone, without their Arab League campaign allies, was to directly attack the Nusra Front.

Who is the Khorasan group?

Tevhid Nazmi Basturk

On September 23rd the United States Air Force dropped eight bombs over Aleppo on the first day of Syrian airstrikes campaign. The airstrikes in Allepo stood out form all the rest of the strikes that day, in that none of the US's Arab League allies (Qatar, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) accompanied the US in the Aleppo bombing. Even stranger was the US' narrative explanation behind the attack that according to the us killed one or two militants while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SOHR, reported 50 Jalalabad Al-Nusra (Nusra) fighters and 17 civilians died in the attacks which also wounded up to 300 other civilians.

The US State Department stated that the attacks on Allepo were to staged to target an offshoot of Al-Qaida which "posed a threat to US national security" known as Khorasan, said to be a group of veteran terrorists with years of experience from Afghanistan.

The US State Department and media kept strong to the narrative that Khorasan, a terrorist group the world had been introduced to by the Associated press just 10 days before the bombing attacks and the Wall Street Journal shortly there after, was a greater priority than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS); the terrorist group used to mobilize the renewed campaign in Iraq and the new campaign in Syria.

The State Department's narrative also claimed that Khorasan's grand plan which threatened US national security was to board planes with jell explosives stuffed into tubes of toothpaste (even though fluid restrictions that emerged after the London Heathrow Airport bomb scare). Khorasan's improbable plot somehow seemed a greater threat than the known intelligence that approximately 130 American citizens have joined ISIS to date.

So the question which begged to be asked is whether or not if Khorasan actually exists and why we have stopped hearing about them.

The alleged "Khorasan training facility" US jets bombed in Aleppo were known to belong to the Nusra front, one of the three major actors in the Syrian civil war. There the narrative goes to state that Khorasan, an alleged Al-Qaida unit from Afghanistan, and the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaida, were working together and that they shared the same venues. However, affiliates of the Nusra Front denied the existence of Khorasan as permeate entity (though few members of the front who joined them from Afghanistan were referred to by the name to by the name of the region they came from, that region being Khorasan).

Thus it could be argued that the "Khorasan" group doesn't exist as no evidence otherwise is yet to be provided and the US no longer seems concerned about proving themselves. If the US intended to abandon their narrative all along, then the question which begs to be asked next is why they would go through all the hassle to bomb Al-Nusra in the first place.

The reason the US conducted the strike on Aleppo alone, without their Arab League campaign allies, was to directly attack the Nusra Front.

With the Obama administration's inability to garner popular support for Syrian action last year, the US had to concoct a "valid" reason to strike non ISIS target within Syria. America's Arab league allies arguably didn't take part in the Aleppo strikes because they continue to view the Nusra Front as one of the most viable actors in the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some reports going as far as to claim that some of the allies, most commonly Qatar, are behind the high funding for weapons and armor received by the Nusra Front. 

So what exactly did the strikes in Aleppo target?

Reports from various observatories and ground reports stated that a Nusra Front training ground and one of the militant group's main arsenals were hit in the attacks, dealing a substantial blow to the  Nusra Front and potentially the campaign against Assad's soldiers in the long running war for the Old City of Aleppo.

This blow could serve to upset the US' Arab League allies, as the maneuver directly aids the Assad loyalist forces in the city. To counter this the Obama administration, Obama himself, the US' European allies and naturally Saudi Arabia have offered to train and arm what Obama referred to as "moderate members of the Syrian opposition" (ie. the Free Syrian army, an ally of the Nusra Front) to combat not Assad, but ISIS. Thus tempting to make members of the Nusra Front, primarily volunteers from the Syrian public, to switch to rebel factions which fall within the US' definition of "moderate".

Thus the strikes on the "Khorasan group", which were marketed to the American public as a means of protecting the US' national security were arguably conducted in an attempt at shifting the tides of the Syrian civil war. The strikes and the offers of armament along side the clearly sent message that the Jalalabad Al-Nusra Front is an equal target to ISIS in the eyes of the US, despite Nusra posing a threat to the Assad regime. Even though the Arab League may avoid attacking Nusra facilities, the US clearly will not.  

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ekim 2014, 11:07

Muhammed Öylek

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