Syrian Nusra Front declares split with al Qaida

Syrian Nusra Front declares split with al Qaida

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The leader of Syria’s Nusra Front has said his group is changing its name and claims it will have no more ties with al Qaida.

In a video aired on the Syrian opposition station Orient TV and Al-Jazeera, Mohammed Golani said the delinking from the terror network aimed to remove “pretexts” by the US and Russia to strike rebel groups while saying they are targeting Nusra.

Nusra has been an al Qaida branch in Syria and one of the most powerful armed groups fighting the government.

Golani said his group will be renamed the Levant Conquest Front and will “have no relation to outside groups”. The video was the Syrian militant’s first appearance showing his face.

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