Russia warns against US reluctance to strike renamed al-Nusra Front

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Ethiopian counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said US-led coalition is reluctant to strike the Islamic fundamentalist groups formerly known as the Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until July 2016.

“We still see double standards,” Lavrov said. “I have already said that we have the full impression, based on the experience of fighting terrorism in Syria, that the so-called Jabhat al-Nusra, or whatever it is called now, is always spared by the US-led coalition forces and other states which cooperate with it (coalition).”

Jabhat al-Nusra merged with four other groups to become Tahrir al-Sham in January 2017.

“In recent days new evidence has emerged that Jabhat al-Nusra in its new incarnation is being dropped from the target list. We consider this an extremely dangerous game that must be stopped, and in general any double standards, ulterior motive, and hidden agenda must be put aside for the sake of an uncompromising fight against terrorism,” said the Russian Foreign Minister.