20:43 GMT05 April 2020
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    A photo of a fighter from al-Qaeda aligned jihadist group Nusra Front holding US anti-tank weaponry, captured after jihadists defeated a group of western-backed rebels in Syria, has spread on Twitter.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The photo, which reportedly first appeared on Nusra's official Twitter account and started to circulate on Tuesday, depicts a militant holding the US-made BGM-71 TOW, wire-guided missiles capable of destroying tanks at long range, standing beside a stockpile of weapons.

    The photo emerged after a Syrian army base in the northern Aleppo province was overrun on February 27 by the terrorist group Nusra Front. The base had been held by the Harakat Hazzm rebel group, one of the few remaining non-jihadist groups in northern Syria opposed to the government of President Bashar Assad.

    The United States has been supplying Harakat Hazzm with advanced weaponry, since Washington is relying on moderate Syrian rebels to counter Islamic State (IS) militants in the country, complementing the US-led coalition’s air strikes.

    After losing its headquarters, Harakat Hazzm announced its dissolution on Sunday. The secular militia said that its fighters were to join the Levant Front, an Aleppo-based rebel coalition including Islamist groups.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting armed rebel groups. So-called "moderate" fighters like Hazzm control only a fraction of northern Syria, with hardliners having seized most of that part of the country, pushing into other parts of Syria. Islamic State (IS) jihadist group alone controls a third of the entire country.

    The Syrian conflict has claimed more than 200,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

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    Al-Nusra Front, Twitter, al-Qaeda, United States
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