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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid