The Trump administration is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the whereabouts of the military leader of al-Qaida affiliated Syria's Al-Nusra Front terrorist group, The Associated Press reported. The State Department says the $10 million dollar reward will be paid for information "leading to the identification or location" of Abu Mohammed al-Golani.
The offer is granted under the FBI's "Rewards for Justice Program" for a Nusra Front leader. In a statement, the department said that the group under Golani's leadership had committed numerous attacks in Syria, including many against civilians, since 2013.
On July 24, 2013, the UN Security Council ISIL (Da'esh) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee placed al-Jawlani on its list of sanctioned terrorists. This made him subject to an international asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.
Golani is a Syrian national who is believed to be in his 40s, has been identified by the U.S. as a "specially designated global terrorist" since 2013 and subject to U.S. and international sanctions, including an asset freeze and travel ban.
The $10 million dollar reward represents the first bounty under the U.S. government's "Rewards for Justice Program" offered for a leader of the group formerly known as the Nusra Front.
"The US Department of State's Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of Muhammad al-Jawlani, leader of the al-Nusrah Front (ANF) terrorist group."The Rewards for Justice Program began in 1984 and is run by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. So far, the program has paid more than $125 million to over 80 people "who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide."
Al-Nusra FrontAccording to tot the State Department, al-Nursa Front is designated a "foreign terrorist organization" by the U.S. In 2016, it changed its name to the Fatah al-Sham Front and formally cut ties with al-Qaida last year, but is still widely seen as being linked to the global terror network. The State Department notice said that under the control of Jolani, the Nusra Front has, as per Newsweek, "carried out multiple terrorist attacks throughout Syria, often targeting civilians."
Announcing the split from Al-Qaeda, Jolani said the jihadist group's leadership had given their blessing. In a statement, Al-Qaeda said its deputy chief Ahmed Hassan Abu al-Khayr told Jolani to "go ahead with what protects the interests of Islam and Muslims and what protects jihad."
Within the agreement that took effect, fighting was intended to subside over six months in four "de-escalation zones," where violence between the army and rebels has been most intense.
The agreement signed on Thursday by Iran, Russia, and Turkey in the Kazakh capital, Astana, is the latest in a series of ceasefire proposals aimed at ending Syria's war, now in its seventh year, according to Aljazeera.The plan calls for the cessation of hostilities between rebel groups and forces fighting on behalf of Bashar al-Assad 's government in four so-called de-escalation zones in mainly opposition-held areas of the country. Russia, Turkey, and Iran are to act as guarantors.
"The opposition is accusing the Syrian government of using siege and starvation to force people out of their own areas... They also say the government has managed, over the last few months, to forcibly displace thousands of people from Hama, Homs, Aleppo, and from Damascus. They're concerned if this continues, the government could further move towards Idlib and do the same thing."[Featured Image by Al-Nusra Front Twitter page/AP Images]