Hollande: War on ISIS Must Expand to al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front

Says Weakening ISIS Could Strengthen Other Islamist Groups

Speaking at the NATO summit in Warsaw, French President Francois Hollande urged the expansion of the US-led coalition war against ISIS to include al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, the Nusra Front, saying that losses inflicted on ISIS might embolden other Islamist factions to take their place.

Hollande cautioned that while it was “beyond dispute” that ISIS is in retreat, other groups, particularly Nusra, stand to benefit from the war’s exclusive focus of ISIS, and that it was vital to avoid a situation where ISIS is simply replaced with another group.

Targeting Nusra has been extremely controversial during the Syrian Civil War, as the al-Qaeda affiliate is closely aligned with several US-backed rebel factions, and these nominally “moderate” rebels have repeatedly issued angry condemnations whenever Nusra is targeted.

Indeed, the US has recently been pressuring Russia to halt all airstrikes against Nusra themselves, citing the large number of ceasefire participating factions which are overtly aligned with Nusra, and embedded in their territory.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • RickR35

    Good to hear some sense from Hollande.

  • richard young

    So the French government is urging our US Government to stop protecting the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda — the folks who attacked us on 9/11. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see this kind of outrageous, treasonous behavior by our “protectors” (of both political parties) in Washington.

  • ATM

    I guess holland is not quite ready to splinter the EU and destroy NATO just so the US can play the great game in the Middle East and invade Europe with refugees.

  • curmudgeonvt

    I wonder if this means our Congress is going to call a special session to rename “French Fries” again?