Reporting (or Not) the Ties Between US-Armed Syrian Rebels and Al Qaeda’s Affiliate

OffGuardian

by Gareth Porter, FAIR

A crucial problem in news media coverage of the Syrian civil war has been how to characterize the relationship between the so-called “moderate” opposition forces armed by the CIA, on one hand, and the Al Qaeda franchise Al Nusra Front (and its close ally Ahrar al Sham), on the other. But it is a politically sensitive issue for US policy, which seeks to overthrow Syria’s government without seeming to make common cause with the movement responsible for 9/11, and the system of news production has worked effectively to prevent the news media from reporting it fully and accurately.

The Obama administration has long portrayed the opposition groups it has been arming with anti-tank weapons as independent of Nusra Front.  In reality, the administration has been relying on the close cooperation of these “moderate” groups with Nusra Front  to put pressure on the Syrian government. The United…

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