Syria urges UN to list al-Nusra Front as terrorist

Syria on Thursday called on the UN Security Council to list the Syria-based radical group al-Nusra Front as a terrorist one. On Tuesday, Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, declared the merger with al-Nusra Front, two days after al-Qaida's central leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged unification of jihad in Syria. On Wednesday, head of al-Nusra in Syria, Abu Mohammed al-Jawalani, pledged allegiance to al-Zawahiri.

Al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for most of the fatal bombings targeting civilians and government institutions across Syria after the outbreak of the country's political conflict in early 2011. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the recent merger has proven the Syrian government's previous claims about the rebel group's connection with al-Qaida.

The ministry's remarks came in letters addressing the UN Security Council, during which it warned against the "crimes" such groups commit in Syria. Although Syria has documented al-Nusra's crimes in several messages sent to the UN, some countries have hindered any condemnation by the UN Security Council of these "terrorist" crimes, a matter which has posed a "catalyst for those terrorists to go on with their crimes," said the ministry.

It also warned against the danger of the international community's disregard of the crimes of "Takfiri terrorism" practiced by al-Nusra, and urged the UN Security Council to take a quick measure to put the group on the terrorist list to preserve international security and stability and to pressure the countries that support terrorism in Syria.

Al-Qaida's declaration was also slammed by the main activists group in Syria, Local Coordination Committees, which said in a commentary on Thursday that it totally rejects al-Zawahiri's calls for an Islamic state in Syria, and that the Syrian people are the ones to decide the future of their country.

Philippines News agency