War in Syria Video: Saudi Arabia Supporting a Hardline Coalition of Islamist Rebels, on Behalf of Washington

Friends of Syria

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Last month Islamist insurgents including al Qaeda’s wing in Syria, Nusra Front, captured the town of Jisr al-Shughour in Syria’s Idlib province, edging closer to the government-held heartland of Latakia along the coast. In turn, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said army setbacks were part of normal warfare. Battles have been raging around the hospital on the southwestern outskirts of Jisr al-Shughour, where army forces and allied fighters have been holed up since the extremists’ offensive began. Government forces have endured a series of setbacks on the battlefield and Islamist fighters have edged closer to Assad’s stronghold in the coastal areas.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is actively supporting a hardline coalition of Islamist rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s regime that includes al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. The country is focusing its backing on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for the jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat…

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