Khorasan: Syrian Factions Never Heard of It

Term Likely Invented by US

Since the US began its airstrikes against Syria, the name Khorasan has been on everyone’s lips since, along with ISIS, they’ve become a top target.

It’s puzzling for people in Syria, especially those affiliated with the rebellion, because none of them have ever heard of any such faction. Indeed, the evidence is increasingly that the US made it up.

“The name is clearly US-originated,” noted analyst Pieter van Ostaeyen, who says that the name had never been mentioned by any jihadist movements until the US started talking them up.

Rather, what is being referred to by the administration as Khorasan is simply al-Qaeda. When the US attacks “Khorasan” they’re really attacking Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syria group, and don’t want to admit it because the “moderate” rebels are all closely allied with al-Qaeda. But they aren’t allied with Khorasan because there is no such thing.

The name is also a political convenience, so that when the TSA says the “Khorasan” is a threat to US flights, what they’re really saying is that al-Qaeda is a threat to US flights, hardly news, but a damning admission that 13 years of focusing on al-Qaeda in a global war hasn’t amounted to a hill of beans, and the threat is still there.

They don’t want to admit that, so instead they invented the fiction of Khorasan to cover up the truth.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.