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

US Investors Eye IPO For China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid