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    Members of jihadist group Al-Nusra Front take part in a parade calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria, at the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, on October 25, 2013.

    Oppositioner: Plans for Joint FSA-Nusra Offensive in Syria Likely Had UK Support

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Plans of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Nusra Front* terrorist group to join forces in Syria for an offensive against Damascus may well have been created with the help of the United Kingdom as a continuation of its recently sparked rivalry with Russia, member of Astana opposition platform Mahmoud Afandi told Sputnik on Thursday.

    Earlier on in the day, a military diplomatic source said that FSA and Nusra terrorists were planning a coordinated operation against government troops in three southern provinces of Syria — As Suwayda, Daraa and Al Qunaitra — as a response to the government’s alleged chemical weapons attack in Duma.

    "There is an international aspect of this whole situation in the south of Syria now. The United Kingdom is playing a big role in what is going on in Syria’s south, in Daraa province now. The group that was supplying Free Syrian Army militants and Nusra in Syria’s south with money and weapons, the Military Operations Center (MOC), headquartered in Amman, was actually controlled by the British special services," Afandi, who is also secretary of the Syrian opposition Popular Diplomacy Movement, said.

    The multi-pronged assault, according to the source, would target government positions in the cities of Daraa and al-Baath, as well as their suburbs.

    "Possibly, this is a continuation of the latest rivalry with Russia. The United Kingdom started it with the Skripal case. Now maybe they are continuing this war — this time, from the south of Syria," Afandi said.

    He noted that the southern provinces of Syria were covered by a de-escalation zone agreement, "under which the Free Syrian Army militants were supposed to clean out Nusra from there." The six-month term of this agreement has already expired, but terrorists still remain in the region, a fact which raises questions both in Moscow and Damascus.

    "We are going to see some movement in Syria’s south soon," Afandi said.

    Apart from planning an offensive, militants are expanding the areas under their control in Syria’s south with the aim of creating an autonomy under US patronage, according to information provided by the military-diplomatic source earlier in the day.

    The FSA and Nusra currently have a combined force of 12,000 fighters, as well as hundreds of pieces of military equipment and dozens of rocket launchers smuggled into Syria from Israel and Jordan, the source claimed.

    *Nusra Front is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia

    Related:

    Militants May Plot Chemical Attack to Set Stage for Joint Offensive in Syria
    Top Militant Negotiator Reportedly Killed Near Syria-Lebanon Border
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    militants, Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al-Nusra Front, Syria
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