"Abu al-Ezz, commander, says about Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda): “We are one part of al-Qaeda. Our principles are: Fighting vice, pureness and security. Our affairs and our way have changed. Israel, for example, is now supporting us, because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hizbullah." Todenhofer
"Our aim is the downfall of the dictatorial regime, the tyrannical regime, the regime of the apostate. Our aim is the conduct of conquests, like [the great Arab general] Khaled ibn al-Walid made them. First in the Arab world and then in Europe." Todenhofer
"To whom did the U.S. hand those missiles before they were brought to you? Were those missiles first given to the Free Syrian Army by the U.S. and from there to you?
No, the missiles were give directly to us. They were delivered to a certain group. When the “road” was closed and we were besieged we had officers here from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States." Todenhofer
"We do not recognize the ceasefire. We will reposition our groups. We will undertake in the next, in a few days an overwhelming attack against the regime. We have rearranged all our armed forces in all provinces, in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama." Todenhofer
"You do not want those 40 trucks with aid supplies to bring those into the eastern part of Aleppo?
We have demands. As longs as the regime is positioned along Castello road, in al-Malah and in the northern areas we will not let those trucks pass. The regime must retreat from all areas in order for us to let the trucks pass. If a truck come in despite that we will arrest the driver.
Why did a few of your groups pull back a kilometer or 500 meters from the Castello road?
The regime used highly developed weapons against us. We received a backlash. That is why we silently retreated, to recover and to attack the regime anew. But this attack must lead to the downfall of the regime.
So that was a trick, a military tactic?
Yes, it was a military tactic." Todenhofer
Jurgen Todenhofer is a German journalist. He traveled to Aleppo where he interviewed Abu al Ezz, a Nusra Front Commander. MoA, Barish and several others have written of this interview but there are several things about it that I find so interesting that I will comment as well.
1. al-Ezz states clearly that Israel considers the Nusra Front jihadis to be allies because Israel is at war with Syria and Hizbullah. I have often written that Israel is an inept and short sighted analyst of its own interests. The Nusra Front is presently fighting its other enemies in Syria, but do the Israelis believe that when that is done the basic jihadi impulse against Zionism will have disappeared in an aura of good feeling created by Israeli support for the jihadis?
2. al-Ezz states that deliveries of US weapons (presumably by CIA) is made directly to them and not to the Free Syrian Army "moderates. He also states that both Israel and the US have liaison people positioned with the Nusra Front in Syria generally and in East Aleppo specifically.
3. al-Ezz makes it clear that at the time of the interview the jihadis intended to use the ceasefire as cover for a re-positioning of forces and were preparing for a general offensive to be launched after forces were re-positioned under protection of the ceasefire. We have now seen part of that in Homs and Hama Provinces.
4. al-Ezz makes it clear that the jihadis in East Aleppo are indifferent to the suffering of whatever remaining civilian population are still trapped there with them. For the jihadis the movement of relief supplies into East Aleppo is just something to be used as "a military tactic." pl