PHOTO: The leader of Jabhat al-Nusra/Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani

Jabhat al-Nusra, now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, has been the focus of much commentary on the state of the rebellion against President Assad in Syria.

Most of that commentary starts — and often finishes — with the tag “Al-Qa’eda”, given Nusra’s allegiance until its reframing as JFS in late July. A lot of it puts out the inaccurate line that JFS/Nusra “dominates” the Syrian rebellion. Very little of it actually considers Nusra/JFS in the local political, military, and social context of Syria’s 5 1/2-year conflict.

Scott Lucas talks to The Conversation’s Anthill podcast about the history of Nusra/JFS in Syria and looks at the political issues around the new organization, including the US response.

The discussion is the first collaboration between The Anthill and EA’s Political WorldView podcast.

Listen from 7:08

See also Global Analysis: The Damaging Illusion of Al Qa’eda
Syria Analysis: The Dangerous Misunderstanding of “Al Qa’eda”