Al-Nusra Front Terror Group May Replace Daesh After its Defeat - Moscow

A Russian Foreign Ministry official warned against "saving" al-Nusra Front terrorist group, former al-Qaeda affiliate, in Syria as it might one day replace Daesh.

MOSCOW, October 6 (Sputnik) — After being eliminated, Daesh (ISIS, Islamic State, banned in Russia) may be replaced with Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front, banned in Russia), which is currently being covered up by some parties interested in using jihadist forces as an tool of influence, Vladimir Andreev, the deputy director of the Department for New Challenges and Threats in the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Sputnik on Friday.

The official said that the Russian side was calling on the international community to come together to tackle terrorism on the basis of international law, the UN Charter and consent of the states, where the fight against terrorists is unfolding.

"Unfortunately, a number of states, Western states, still pursue other goals in the present conditions, [which are] to secure superiority, dominance, some kind of control. Some of the terror organizations, Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Nusra Front], whatever it is called now, it looks like it is being saved, perhaps, to ensure the return of al-Qaeda [terror group banned in Russia] in the shape of Nusra to the forefront, after Daesh, which has gone too far, will be finally eliminated and this brand dies out," Andreev said.

A Nusra front fighter carries his brigade's flag in Idlib city, after they took control of the area March 29, 2015 - Sputnik International
Next in Line: What al-Nusra Should Now Fear the Most in Its Idlib Stronghold
Andreev specified that the terror group might be used as an instrument of interference in internal affairs of different states and toppling unwanted regimes.

"Terrorists never do anything on their own. At some point, they went 'unnoticed,' they received assistance, they were given the chance to get rolling, now they are biting the hand that once fed them, and this hand keeps feeding them in quiet, steering them in directions which correspond with some geopolitical strategies. Russia does not take part in that," Andreev said.

The foreign ministry official added that Russia was standing ready for full-scale cooperation on taking down terrorism, as it was in the interests not only of Russia, but the whole world. However, Andreev added that such cooperation has not been established so far.

The statement comes several days after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a Russian airstrike in Syria's the Idlib left al-Nusra Front leader in coma and eliminated 49 other terrorists. The operation came as the Russian foreign minister said that Moscow would support armed groups fighting against al-Nusra Front in the war-torn country.

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