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Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate calls for attacks on Russia

Russia has said its air raids have targeted IS and other "extremist groups" [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 October, 2015

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Islamic militants in Russia must retaliate against Russian military intervention in Syria, the head of al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front has said in a recorded message.
The head of al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate has called on Islamic militants in the Caucasus to attack Russian civilians and soldiers in retaliation for Moscow's air raids in Syria.

"If the Russian army kills the people of Syria, then kill their people. And if they kill our soldiers, then kill their soldiers. An eye for an eye," Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the head of al-Nusra Front, said in an audio recording released late Monday.

     If the Russian army kills the people of Syria, then kill their people. And if they kill our soldiers, then kill their soldiers
- Abu Mohammad al-Jolani
He pledged that Moscow's air war in Syria, which began on September 30, would have dire consequences for Russia.

"The war in Syria will make the Russians forget the horrors that they found in Afghanistan," Jolani said, adding: "They will be shattered, with God's permission, on Syria's doorstep."

Russia has said its air raids are targeting the Islamic State group [IS], a rival of Nusra, as well as other extremist groups.

Moscow's strikes have concentrated on areas in north-western Syria where Nusra has a powerful presence, mostly in the province of Idlib.

A US-led air coalition fighting IS in Syria has also targeted Nusra on several occasions.

Jolani called on armed opposition groups to set aside their differences until both air wars had been defeated.

"Delay the disputes until the demise and smashing of the Western Crusader and Russian campaign on Syrian land. Alawite towns should be bombarded with thousands of shells like they do with the Sunni towns," he said.

Jolani also offered to pay €3 million to anyone who assassinated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and €2 million for killing Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Last week, 52 clerics in Saudi Arabia released a statement, calling for holy war against Russian military intervention in Syria.

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