09:33 GMT +324 February 2018
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    Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

    State Department Admits Nusra Front ‘Absorbed’ Part of Moderate Opposition

    © AFP 2018/ AMC / FADI AL-HALABI
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    The Nusra Front, al-Qaeda affiliate in northern Syria, has recruited fighters the United States previously designated as moderate opposition, US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson said on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States designated the Nusra Front as a terrorist organization. The group has been fighting against Syrian government forces in northern Syria.

    "The Nusra Front, which is an al-Qaeda affiliate, has absorbed the various moderate groups…have absorbed a number of what we would previously call the moderate opposition," Patterson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Patterson acknowledged that the Nusra Front "will not be part of a political settlement" in Syria.

    Militants from the Nusra Front terrorist group have committed a mass massacre of civilians in a northern part of the Syrian Homs province in October.

    Russian airstrikes have targeted the Nusra Front in the northern and central Syria, including in the Idlib province and the city of Homs.

    Washington has repeatedly accused Russia of hitting US-supported Syrian moderates, but has refused to share information on terrorist targets in Syria.

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    Al-Nusra Front, Syria, United States
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