US ‘protects’ Nusra terrorists, ‘punishes’ Moscow for Assad support – Russian FM
Washington has Jabhat al-Nusra’s back and is ready to help “any destructive forces” to achieve regime change in Syria, while Moscow is being punished for helping the country’s legitimate government, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“It has been observed for a long time that the current administration in Washington is ready to help any destructive forces in its bid for a regime change in Syria,” the statement published on Saturday reads.
Moscow says that the US effectively “protects the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group [now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham], which is nothing else but a branch of Al-Qaeda, which carried out the most gruesome terrorist acts in US history.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the White House “apparently forgot that according to American law, support for terrorists is a severe, criminally liable offense.”
The statement was issued as part of Russia’s reaction to the latest batch of US sanctions on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry said that instead of focusing on the common terror threat, Washington has “lost a feeling of reality.” It also said that the sanctions were an attempt to “punish” Russia for supporting the Syrian government in its fight against terrorism, which threatens the entire world.
On December 8, US lawmakers introduced a Stop Arming Terrorists Act, aimed at preventing any government support to terrorist groups through covert operations and third states.
“If you or I gave money, weapons or support to Al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups,” the Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (who introduced the bill) argued.
During her statement in the House of Representatives, Gabbard said the CIA provided weapons and financial help to terrorist groups via Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar among others.
In September, an al-Nusra commander told Germany's Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper, that the group received US arms via states like Saudi Arabia and that the militants also received training.
“This is a game everybody knows. It’s very clear that the Americans know that their weapons will in the end be in the hands of terrorists,” German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer who spoke with the al-Nusra commander, told RT back then.