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Al-Nusra Front facts for kids

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Al-Nusra Front
جبهة النصرة
Participant in the Syrian Civil War and the
Syrian Civil War spillover in Lebanon
Flag of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (July 2016–January 2017)
Flag of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (July 2016–January 2017)
Active 23 January 2012 – 28 January 2017
Ideology Salafism
Groups See al-Nusra member groups
Leaders Abu Mohammad al-Julani (top emir)
Abu Abdullah al-Shami (senior member)
Ahmad Salama Mabruk  (senior member)
Abu Hajer al-Homsi  (top military commander)
Abu Omar al-Turkistani  (top military commander)
Headquarters
Area of operations  Syria (Primarily in Northwest Syria, around the Idlib and Aleppo Provinces)
 Lebanon(2013-2017)
Size 10,000–20,000
Part of al-Qaeda
Mujahideen Shura Council (2014–present)
Army of Conquest (2015–17)
Originated as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq
Became Flag of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.svg Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham
Allies State allies

Non-state allies

  • Jund al-Aqsa
  • Flag of Jihad.svg Turkistan Islamic Party
  • Flag of Caucasian Emirate.svg Caucasus Emirate
  • Ajnad al-Kavkaz
  • Malhama Tactical
  • Ashida'a Mujahideen Brigade
  • Ansar al-Din Front
  • Flag of Ansar al-Islam.svg Ansar al-Islam
  • Free Syrian Army (2012-13)
Opponents State opponents

Non-state opponents

  • Syrian Democratic Forces
    • People's Protection Units Flag.svg People's Protection Units
    • Emblem of Jaysh al-Thuwar.svg Army of Revolutionaries
  • Syrian opposition Free Syrian Army (present)
  • Flag of Ahrar ash-Sham.svg Ahrar al-Sham
  • Suqour al-Sham Brigade

Shi'ite groups

  • Hezbollah
  • Kata'ib Hezbollah
  • Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
  • Al-Abbas brigade
  • Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada
  • Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba
  • Houthis

Islamic State and Islamic State affiliates

Battles and wars Syrian Civil War
  • Battle of Aleppo (2012–16)
  • Siege of Nubl and Al-Zahraa
  • Operation al-Shabah
  • 2013 Latakia offensive
  • Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
  • 2014 Idlib offensive
  • al-Nusra Front–Syria Revolutionaries Front conflict
  • 2015 Idlib offensive
    • Second Battle of Idlib
  • Siege of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya
  • Battle of Bosra (2015)
  • 2015 Jisr al-Shughur offensive
  • Battle of Yarmouk Camp (2015)
  • Qalamoun offensive (May 2015)
  • Battle of Zabadani (2015)
  • 2015 Hama Offensive
  • Northern Aleppo offensive (2016)
  • Idlib Governorate clashes (2017)

Syrian Civil War spillover in Lebanon

  • Battle of Arsal (2014)

Military intervention against ISIL

Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra (Arabic: جبهة النصرة ), known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Arabic: جبهة فتح الشام ) is one of the organizations fighting in the Syrian Civil War. Since July 2016, it has also been known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Arabic: جبهة فتح الشام , transliteration: Jabhat Fataḥ al-Šām). It has also been called al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant. They are a Salafist organization and want to create an Islamic state in the country.

The group announced its formation on 23 January 2012. The United States designated Jabhat al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization, followed by the United Nations Security Council and many other countries. It was the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until July 2016, when it became a separate organization. In early 2015, the group became one of the major components of the powerful jihadist joint operations room named the Army of Conquest, which took over large territories in Northwestern Syria. It also operates in neighbouring Lebanon. In November 2012, The Washington Post described al-Nusra as the most successful arm of the rebel forces.

In July 2016, al-Nusra formally separated from al-Qaeda and re-branded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ("Front for the Conquest of the Levant").

On 28 January 2017, following violent clashes with Ahrar al-Sham and other rebel groups, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham merged with four other groups to become Tahrir al-Sham.

According to spokesmen of a moderate wing of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), in November 2012 Nusra had between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters, which was 7–9% of the FSA's total fighters. Commentator David Ignatius for The Washington Post described Nusra then as the most aggressive and successful arm of the FSA. The United States Department of State stated likewise: "From the reports we get from the doctors, most of the injured and dead FSA are Jabhat al-Nusra, due to their courage and [the fact they are] always at the front line". On 10 December 2012, the U.S. designated Nusra a foreign terrorist organization and an alias of Al Qaeda in Iraq. That decision made it illegal for Americans to deal financially with Nusra. Days earlier, the American ambassador to Syria, R. Ford, had said: "Extremist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra are a problem, an obstacle to finding the political solution that Syria's going to need".

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