Tasnim News – A Top US diplomat has admitted that Washington rebranded a Syria-based al-Qaeda affiliation as a US “asset” in order to pursue hegemonic policy in the Middle East.
James Jeffrey, who has served as a US ambassador under both Republican and Democratic administrations – most recently as former US president Donald Trump’s special representative for Syria and later as the special envoy to the global anti-Daesh coalition – said the Syria-based al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group known today as the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group was “an asset” to the US in its efforts to destabilize Bashar Assad’s democratically-elected government.
Jeffrey told FRONTLINE reporter Martin Smith that Idlib was one of the most important locations in the Middle East war.
“They are the least bad option of the various options on Idlib, and Idlib is one of the most important places in Syria, which is one of the most important places right now in the Middle East,” he said in the March 8 interview.
The US State Department had said that the group’s leader, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, aimed to topple Assad’s government, making him an ally for the US.
Jolani’s “ultimate goal is the overthrow of the Syrian regime,” it said, noting that attacks carried out by his group “killed innocent Syrian civilians.”
The US has supported Al-Qaeda in Syria, Libya and Yemen.