The leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, one of the most powerful groups in the war-torn country, has told Al Jazeera that that the conflict is nearing an end and that his fighters hold the upper hand.
In his first-ever televised interview, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, ruled out peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad and warned that Arab states should be cautious of the recent improvement of Iran-US ties.
“The battle is almost over, we have covered about 70 percent of it, and what’s left is small. We will achieve victory soon. We pray to God to culminate these efforts with victory. It’s only a matter of days,” he said in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera’s Tayseer Allouni from an undisclosed location in Syria.
Al-Joulani added that al-Nusra – designated by the UN, the US and other western countries as a terrorist organisation – would not accept the outcome of the upcoming international conference in Geneva scheduled for January.
For the interview with Al Jazeera, al-Joulani asked that his face be hidden because of security fears. Little is known about the al-Qaeda leader, but it is believed that he had joined the self-declared jihadist group several years ago to fight US forces in Iraq.
Full story at Al Jazeera