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Published on 20 Nov 2013 | over 2 years ago

Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra is a branch of Al Qaeda operating in Syria. The group announced its creation on 23 January 2012 during the Syrian civil war. It is described as "the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force. The group was designated by the United Nations, the United States in December 2012, Australia in June 2013 and the United Kingdom in July 2013 as a terrorist organization.

In April 2013, the leader of the ISIS released an audio statement announcing that Jabhat al-Nusra is its branch in Syria. The leader of Al Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani, denied the merger but affirmed their allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

By May 2013, a faction of Jabhat loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq leadership began acting under the name of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."It is an also a "member" of the Islamic Coalition, though it has stated that it is not a formal coalition.

The group is generally described as being made up of Sunni Islamist. Its goal is to overthrow the Assad government and to create a Pan-Islamic state under the Sharia in Iraq and Syria.

During the Syrian civil war, the group launched many attacks, mostly against targets affiliated with or supportive of the Syrian government. As of June 2013, al-Nusra Front had claimed responsibility for 57 of the 70 suicide attacks in Syria during the conflict mostly on Civilian populated areas.

One of the first bombings for which al-Nusra was suspected of and the first suicide attack of the war came on 23 December 2011, when two seemingly coordinated bombings occurred in the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing 44 people and wounding 166.

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