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UN adds Syrian militant outfit Al-Nusra to sanctions list

Security Council subjects Syria's Al-Nusra Front to international asset freeze and arms embargo due to group's reported links to Al-Qaeda

AFP , Friday 31 May 2013
Al-Nusra Front
Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra take their positions on the front line during a clash with Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad in Aleppo in this December 24, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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The UN Security Council on Friday added Syrian militant group Al-Nusra Front to its global sanctions list because of its links to Al-Qaeda.

The group, a feared force battling President Bashar al-Assad, is now subject to an international asset freeze and arms embargo, according to an announcement made by the Security Council's Al-Qaeda sanctions committee.

France and Britain jointly sought Al-Nusra's designation after blocking a demand by the Syrian government.

Al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani last month pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, confirming suspicions of ties between the rebel group and the militant group founded by the late Osama bin Laden.

The US government designated Al-Nusra a terrorist organization last year and added al-Jawlani to its terrorist blacklist this month.

Western nations are acting against Al-Nusra in a bid to shore up moderate opponents of Assad. The 26-month old Syrian conflict has left more than 94,000 dead, according to Syrian activists.

Experts have said Al-Nusra gets aid from Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate and the Security Council announcement specifically mentions links to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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