(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
Susan Scutti, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN