US Blacklists Syrian Group with Al Qaeda Ties

Alessio Romenzi/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Throughout the 21-month long conflict in Syria, the U.S. has expressed concerns about the wrong people possibly hijacking the revolution to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.

On Tuesday, the State Department made it clear that the al Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front cannot be part of any new government once al-Assad is gone by blacklisting the group.

As it happens, the Al-Nusra Front is one of the more effective band of fighters seeking the removal of al-Assad but the U.S. is worried that its ultimate goal is turning Syria into a terrorist state.

Blacklisting the group both freezes it assets and prohibits any private U.S. dealings with Al-Nursa as well as helping to direct funds toward rebel groups seeking a democratic government.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that other nations providing support to al-Assad's opponents must only assist "those opposition groups who truly have the best interest of Syria and Syrians in mind."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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