Nusra Rebranding to Escape Terrorism Lists

Nusra Rebranding to Escape Terrorism ListsNusra Rebranding to Escape Terrorism Lists

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi dismissed a recent move by the al-Nusra Front terrorist group, which is fighting the Syrian government, to change its name to Jabhat Fath al-Sham (the Conquest of Syria Front) as "playing with words."

"The objective behind the game is to remove the group from terrorism lists, but the ugly image of extremism and terrorism cannot be whitewashed through such moves," Qasemi said on Thursday, according to Tasnim News Agency.

"Such measures are a sign of the political bankruptcy of the extremists' regional supporters headed by Saudi Arabia as the father and principal supporter of al-Qaeda, Taliban, Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the self-styled Islamic State], al-Nusra Front and many other terrorist groups, particularly in Syria," he added.

The spokesman called on the international community to pay attention to the root causes of terrorism and its outcomes, and to pressure the founders and supporters of terrorist groups into eradicating the inauspicious phenomenon.

Earlier on Thursday, al-Nusra Front announced its break from the parent terror organization, Al-Qaeda, in an apparent bid to gain more support from foreign powers.

The terrorist group was formed months after the onset of the Syrian crisis in 2011. The group first enjoyed generous support from IS extremists, but broke from them in 2013 and pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda's terror network, which on Thursday endorsed the move as a necessary gambit to protect the group.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including IS, currently controlling parts of it.

According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others and displaced nearly half of the country's prewar population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.