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Turkey Reconsiders Support For Jabhat Al-Nusra

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells US President Barack Obama he is “disturbed” by the rise of extremist groups in Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS)   - RTXZPAE

Signs are increasing that Ankara is gradually, albeit somewhat reluctantly, giving up its support for the radical Islamist group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which it once promoted as the most effective force in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey had criticized as “premature” the US designation of al-Nusra as a terrorist organization in December 2012, given the advances the group appeared to be securing for the Syrian opposition at the time. During a visit to Washington in January, Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu reportedly told his American interlocutors that “it was more important to focus on the ‘chaos’ that Assad has created instead of groups such as al-Nusra.”

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