Syria jihadists eye post-Assad Islamic rule

AF JORDAN TIMES

BEIRUT — Jihadist rule must spread over Syria after the ouster of Bashar Al Assad, the head of the hardline rebel Al Nusra Front said on Friday, accusing Washington of seeking to keep the president in power.

Can those who are good in destruction also rebuild the country? (Editor’s question)

Al Nusra, blacklisted by Washington as a terror outfit, has claimed responsibility for the majority of deadly suicide bombings in Syria’s 21-month conflict.

Its fighters, many of whom are foreigners, have also played a major part in battlefield gains made by the rebels in the northwest in recent months.

In an audio tape posted online on Friday the head of the group, Abu Mohammed Al Jawlani, said clearly — and repeatedly — that Islamists must rule in post-Assad Syria.

“The fall of the regime will leave a vacuum and you are the best placed to fill that void,” Jawlani said, addressing his fighters.

Power must go to the “mujahedeen”, he said.

In his message, titled “People of Syria, we sacrifice our souls for you,” Jawlani told Syrians: “We have offered you our blood in defending your religion and your lands, and will continue to sacrifice ourselves one after the other.”

“We will continue to make sacrifices so that the Syrian people can recover their pride and well-being that have been taken from them, until they can live under the banner [of Islam]… ruled by Shura [principles of Islam],” he added.

Jawlani insisted that those who shed their blood in the fight against the regime of Assad, who hails from the minority Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, must reap the rewards without foreign intervention.

“This blood which was shed to emerge from oppression… should not be lost in the darkness of the West. He who sows must harvest the fruits,” he said.

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