On May 31, Russian news agency TASS reported that the British MI6 intelligence agency’s representative met with the leader of the the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham). According to the reports, the meeting took place near the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border.
According to a diplomatic source in Moscow, Jonathan Powell suggested that Abu Mohammad al-Julani should build close cooperation with European countries and the US.
The meeting was aimed at the the establishing of contact with international terrorist groups active in Syria. An agreement was reportedly reached on maintaining a permanent communication with international terrorists designated as such by the United Nations Security Council. Meanwhile, the sides were discussing a possibility of removing Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham from the list of terrorist organizations.
“The British side suggested that the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham group should announce plans to abandon subversive activities against Western countries and build close cooperation with them,” he said.
Mohammad al-Julani reportedly received recommendations to give an interview to an American reporter in order to create a positive image for the alliance that he heads. The UK’s allies, primarily the US, are supposed to take part in rebranding of the al-Nusra group.
“We would like to remind those who quickly forget their own bitter experience that there are no good terrorists and all attempts to tame and hand-feed them usually lead to many innocent deaths,” the Russian source emphasized.
Today, the HTS is mostly controlled by the Turkish special services. But they are also trying to cooperate with representatives of other countries, with whom they are negotiating the change of their status. In exchange to financial support, terrorists provide information about other Syrian militants.
HTS is the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib. They have recently carried out their largest attack this year, having raided a number of positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) 5th Corps in the northwestern region of Greater Idlib. The HTS’ “elite” Abu Baker al-Siddiq Brigade was behind the attack.
At the same time, despite numerous attempts to whitewash HTS in Syria, the reports about their terrorist activities abroad are ignored by the international community.
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