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CIA-Linked Jihadists Take Credit For Damascus Bomb Attacks as Washington Runs For Cover

On Friday, Washington labeled a jihadist coalition with ties to the CIA as a terrorist organization. Hours later, the jihadist group attacked Damascus

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

"A Syrian alliance of jihadist groups known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham said on Sunday it was responsible for a double suicide bomb attack in the capital Damascus that killed dozens of people," according to Reuters

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham? Where have we seen this name before? 

<figcaption>A "moderate" bombing — just as we suspected</figcaption>
A "moderate" bombing — just as we suspected

Hours before the Damascus bomb blasts, the State Department made a quick, not-very-publicized announcement:

On Friday, the United States officially declared the newly formed Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) a terrorist group in a written statement. The jihadist coalition consists of Jabhat al-Nusra and some opposition groups that formerly enjoyed US support, including Harakat Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki.

This terrorist designation comes as a major blow to the armed Syrian Opposition as Hayyat Tahrir Al-Sham is considered the single largest rebel faction in all of Syria.

It looks like we called it back on Saturday when news broke of the attacks: These were "moderate" bomb blasts

It also looks like Robert Fisk was right:

As we've pointed out previously, despite several "re-brandings", al-Nusra has never been able to hide the fact that it has received direct and indirect support from the CIA.

By the way, here's how Reuters ends its report on Sunday's Damascus bomb attacks:

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was created from a merger of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham - formerly al Qaeda's Nusra Front - and several other groups. The jihadist alliance, which is not linked to Islamic State, includes some of the most hardline rebel elements fighting Assad.

See? They're not CIA-linked terrorists. They're "hardline rebels". 

It's a good thing Washington distanced itself from these "hardline [CIA-linked] rebels" — and just one day before they blew up Damascus. Excellent timing.

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