Report: Al Qaeda Branch in Syria Claims Use of UN Vehicle in Suicide Attack

Report: Al Qaeda Branch in Syria Claims Use of UN Vehicle in Suicide Attack

The Al-Nusrah Front, the main al-Qeada affiliate in Syria, has released photos that it claims shows a United Nations armored vehicle being used to carry out a suicide car bomb attack against the Bashar Assad regime, reports The Long War Journal.   

According to the report, the pictures were released Dec. 7 on the official Twitter account of Al-Nusrah’s southern Syria operations.   

“The photos show Al-Nusrah fighters operating the South African-made Mamba armored personnel carrier, as well as the vehicle being driven to its destination by a fighter named Abu Khattab al Muhajir (“the Emigrant”),” reports the Journal. “The last photo shows a massive explosion as the vehicle detonates on regime positions in the city of Sheikh Miskeen in Daraa province.”  

It is likely that the jihadists took UN vehicles when they captured the Quneitra border crossing with the Israeli-held Golan Heights in late August and kidnapped 43 UN peacekeepers who were ultimately set free, reports the Journal.  

The U.S. is the UN’s largest contributor. Al-Nusrah was officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States in May 2014.  

Since the U.S.-led airstrikes began in Syria in September, the majority of bombs and missiles have been aimed at the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, or ISIL), described by the Journal as “an al Qaeda offshoot that is al-Nusrah’s jihadist rival in Syria.”  

However, the U.S. government has hit Al-Nusrah when it launched airstrikes against the Khorasan group, which is “embedded within the Al-Nusrah Front, with some of the group’s leaders doubling as officials in Al-Nusrah,” according to the Journal.  

“As in the past, when striking areas controlled by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, the Pentagon was careful to specify that members of the so-called Khorasan group were the intended target,” reported CBS News last month when U.S. Central Command announced that U.S. airstrikes hit a storage facility near the Syrian town of Harem.  

U.S.-led airstrikes have been primarily aimed at ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.