How Washington is Positioning Syrian Al-Qaeda’s Founder as Its ‘Asset’
- How Washington is Positioning Syrian Al-Qaeda’s Founder as Its ‘Asset’
by March 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Western regime-change war on Syria. And after a decade of grueling conflict, Washington is still maneuvering to extend its longstanding relationship with the Salafi-jihadist militants fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
With the northeastern province of Idlib under the control of a self-proclaimed “Syrian Salvation Government” led by the rebranded version of Syria’s al-Qaeda franchise, and protected under the military aegis of NATO member state Turkey, powerful elements from Brussels to Washington have been working to legitimize its leader.
This June, PBS Frontline aired a special, “The Jihadist,” featuring a sit-down interview with Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, de facto president of the “Syrian Salvation Government” and founder of the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda originally called Jabhat al-Nusra, today re-branded as Hay-at Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS.