Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has issued an audio statement today rejecting the notion of a ceasefire in Syria, and urging the various Sunni Islamist factions to keep fighting, with Nusra Leader Abu Mohamad al-Golani insisting the war is simply not resolved yet.
Golani insisted that God had honored the people of Syria with “a great jihad on blessed land” and that they should not be afraid of the warplanes and large number of troops resisting their takeover of the region, and that the war needs to continue until it uproots the Assad government and “all its institutions.”
Golani went on to claim that a victory for the Shi’ites in Syria would mean a shift of the battle to the Arabian Peninsula “in less than a decade.” The Nusra Front was not invited to take part in the ceasefire in the first place.
Nusra’s rejection still holds considerable sway, however, as they are allied with a number of nominally “moderate” rebel factions which are included in the ceasefire and had agreed to take part. Indeed, many were loudly complaining about Nusra’s exclusion from the deal.
Nusra controls the Idlib Province in Syria’s northwest, and according to other rebel factions has a presence virtually everywhere else that rebels are positioned. This has raised rebel concerns that targeting Nusra will mean targeting an awful lot of rebel territory nationwide.