News / Middle East

US Labels Syrian Jihadist Group as Terrorists

U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen talks to the media during a press conference in Rome, October 3, 2012.U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen talks to the media during a press conference in Rome, October 3, 2012.
x
U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen talks to the media during a press conference in Rome, October 3, 2012.
U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen talks to the media during a press conference in Rome, October 3, 2012.
VOA News
The United States has declared a Syrian Jihadist force as a terrorist organization, while Western powers gathered in Morocco to push international support for Syria's new opposition coalition.

The State Department designated Jabhat al-Nusra as a terror group on Tuesday, saying that it serves as an alias of al-Qaida in Iraq as it attempts to infiltrate the Syrian conflict.

The U.S. State Department says Jabhat al-Nusra:

  • Claimed more than 600 attacks since November 2011
  • Carried out operations in major Syrian city centers
  • Killed numerous innocent Syrians
  • Sought to portray itself as part of the Syrian opposition
  • Is controlled by al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Du'a
The U.S. Treasury sanctioned two senior leaders of the al-Nusra front for acting on behalf of al-Qaida in Iraq. The department also announced sanctions against two armed militia groups that back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen, said the United States "will target the pro-Assad militias" just as it targets "the terrorists who falsely cloak themselves in the flag of the legitimate opposition."  

Listing an entity as a terror organization bars Americans from doing business with the group.

Jabhat al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Syria.

Friends of Syria meeting

Officials from European Union nations and the United States will gather Wednesday in Morocco for a Friends of Syria meeting aimed at supporting the rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not taking part in the meeting, after canceling her Middle East trip because of an illness.

France, Britain and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have recognized the opposition coalition as the representative of the Syrian people.  Despite broad support for the ouster of Assad, the United States and some European nations have been hesitant to fully recognize the coalition.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed hope Monday that more nations will back the coalition, after EU foreign ministers held talks with new Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib.

Russia is not taking part in the talks Wednesday.  Moscow objects to any outside interference in a Syrian transition process, saying any decisions about political reforms should be made by Syrians themselves.

Chemical weapons

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says there is no new indication of any "aggressive steps" by the Syrian government to use chemical weapons.

"We continue to monitor it very closely, and we continue to make clear to them that they should not under any means make use of these chemical weapons against their own population, that that would produce serious consequences," Panetta said.

Panetta's comments Tuesday follow earlier warnings from U.S. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders that a chemical weapons attack would draw a response against Syria.

Refugees

Also Tuesday, the United Nations refugee agency said the number of Syrian refugees registered or waiting to be registered now stands at more than 500,000.  The agency said that includes the latest count from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, turkey and North Africa.

Fighting between rebels and government forces has already claimed more than 40,000 lives, with no let-up in sight.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: M from: USA
December 11, 2012 1:08 PM
So is it ok to use the word "terrorist" again? Lol...


by: Anonymous
December 11, 2012 12:14 PM
You know I don't like terrorists just like anyone else. BUT I am glad as hell some people are helping the Syrian people whatever groups they belong to. The Syrians are being slaughtered by Assad, the Syrians need as much help as they can get from anyone they can get it from. Assad needs to go, better yet face justice. On the battleground these groups are providing much more than anyone else is, in regards to military power.


by: Anonymous
December 11, 2012 9:23 AM
The rest of the "rebels" are in support of the AlNursa terrorists. But the US supports them. LOL Blindness, madam Clinton, No?

In Response

by: SJJolly from: La Mesa, California
December 11, 2012 12:02 PM
Maybe the Syrian rebels prefer to support those most effective again Assad's forces than to worry about what we in the USA think about those leading groups?


by: musawi melake from: -
December 11, 2012 5:26 AM
It's a good decission, though too late to have any impact. It should also mean that the other Groups that collaborate With this outfit should be forced to stay away from thm or punish by designating them aslo. In this case, if the Assad-regime falls at some point in time, there'd none for the US to deal With.

On the Whole the West is going to see the opposite of what they hoped to get whn the orchstrated the so called Arab-spring using facebook People, in countries With significant Chinese Investments.


by: Walter Johnson
December 11, 2012 5:26 AM
Russia is at least partially right, but it is not taking into account that the new coalition is of Syrian groups and the only role the West will play is to try to stabilize a peace in Syria--not to determine the nation's ultimate government structure or constitution even though that was very successful in Japan in particular.

Russia may be concerned that all the arms and other purchases made by the Assad government will wind up not being paid for by Syria's eventual government since those arms and munitions were used against Syria's own people.

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 11, 2012 12:19 PM
And because most of the Syrians that died, died from Russian weaponry and because of Russias choice to sip tea during the slaughter... The Russian Navy should be permanently kicked out of Syria after the fall. No pipeline, no navy. Hey Putin, suck it up buttercup...


by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
December 11, 2012 5:12 AM
wrongs should not just be looked into after the war is over..america has to do away with bad gangs even if they are helping remove a bad assad.

lulasa...obamabarack
tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,vihiga,kenya.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid