Mapping Militant Organizations: Jabhat al-Nusra”

As U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict has increased, so has al-Nusra’s opposition to U.S. policy and U.S.-linked rebel groups. In late July 2015, al-Nusra attacked and kidnapped seven members of the U.S.-trained rebel group Division 30 (D30) just two weeks after the group returned to Syria from its training camps in Turkey. A few days later, al-Nusra carried out another assault against the group as it was traveling to the Syrian town of Azzaz. The U.S. deployed drones to defend D30, reportedly killing between 30 and 40 members of al-Nusra. [42] [43] Neither American intelligence officials nor D30 leaders had apparently believed that al-Nusra would attack D30, since D30 had made it clear that it intended to target the Islamic State and not al-Nusra, and at least one D30 leader alleged that D30 had even coordinated with al-Nusra before D30 moved toward Azzaz. Al-Nusra justified the attacks by accusing D30 of being American agents.[44] Al-Nusra made a statement claiming that it would aim to destroy D30, but also released at least some of the D30 members it had kidnapped. [45] [46] In early August, al-Nusra announced that it would withdraw from the frontline against the Islamic State in northern Syria due to increasing Turkish and U.S. involvement in the region. [47] Later, D30 dissolved, and in October 2015 the U.S. announced that it would end its training program for Syrian rebels. [48]

Source: Mapping Militant Organizations: Jabhat al-Nusra”

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