(From AFP)

The head of Al-Nusra Front in Syria said his jihadist group was breaking ties with Al-Qaeda and changing its name, in remarks broadcast Thursday by Al-Jazeera.

Al Nusra leader announces split with al-Qaeda
An image released on July 28, 2016 by Al-Manara al-Bayda, the official news arm of the Al-Nusra Front, allegedly shows the group’s chief Abu Mohammad al-Jolani

Abu Mohamad al-Jolani said Al-Nusra would change its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Conquest of Syria in Arabic) and expressed his gratitude to the “commanders of Al-Qaeda for having understood the need to break ties”.

In a rare televised message, Jolani said the new group “will have no links whatsoever with foreign parties.”

The announcement came a week after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said they had agreed on “concrete steps” to save a failing Syria truce and tackle jihadist groups like Al-Nusra and the Islamic State group. Read More

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