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US Parts With ‘Moderate’ Fantasy, Designates Largest Coalition of Syrian Jihadists as a Terrorist Group

The coalition consists of Jabhat al-Nusra and opposition groups that formerly enjoyed U.S. support, including Harakat Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki, according to reports

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Better late than never. 

According to Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, the U.S. State Department has designated a newly formed (and arguably the largest) coalition of "Syrian rebels" as a terrorist organization. 

<figcaption>They're still moderate deep down</figcaption>
They're still moderate deep down

Looks like Washington has given up on the whole "moderate" thing. 

Al Masdar News corroborates the claim:

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.

The US State Department stressed that the main leader of Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham is Abu Mohammad Al-Julani, commander-in-chief of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front), and therefore HTS should still be regarded as the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.

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.

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.

Now that HTS is officially a terrorist organization, it's hard to believe that there are any "legitimate" rebel groups with any real power that are worth negotiating with. 

Who exactly is Assad supposed to negotiate with now? Turkey and Saudi Arabia?

Now that Washington has distanced itself from essentially every major rebel group — not including the Kurds — one has to wonder why there had to be a devastating, 6-year war to begin with. 

But that's neither here nor there. 

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