US lists Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as foreign terrorist organization

US lists Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as foreign terrorist organization

WASHINGTON
US lists Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as foreign terrorist organization

The U.S. Department of State has amended the designation of al-Nusrah Front, an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, to include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other aliases.

“These aliases have been added to al-Nusrah Front’s designations as a Foreign Terrorist Organization [FTO] under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist [SDGT] under Executive Order 13224,” the State Department said in a written statement on May 31.

In January 2017, al-Nusrah Front launched the creation of HTS as a vehicle to advance its position in the Syrian uprising and to further its own goals as an al-Qaida affiliate, said the State Department, adding that since January 2017, the group has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of these objectives.

The Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Nathan A. Sales noted that “today’s designation serves notice that the United States is not fooled by this al-Qaida affiliate’s attempt to rebrand itself. Whatever name Nusrah chooses, we will continue to deny it the resources it seeks to further its violent cause.”

Tahrir al-Sham is the dominant force in Idlib in northwestern Syria, declared as one of the de-escalation zones as part of a ceasefire deal of the Astana process.

Tahrir al-Sham, al-Qaida, terrorism