The US will label the Syrian extremist Jabhat al-Nusra ("The Support Group") a terrorist organization, according to federal register documents cited by CNN.
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Foreign Policy adds the following:
"The group, which was first announced in late January 2012, has become a growing part of the armed opposition due to its fighting prowess -- perhaps no surprise, as many of its fighters honed their skills in battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. As a result, Jabhat al-Nusra has carved out an important niche in the fight to oust the Syrian regime even as it remains outside of the mainstream opposition."
The documents list the group, often referred to as the al-Nusra Front, as a proxy for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, said CNN.
The Foreign Policy description echoes this tweet from The Huffington Post's foreign policy correspondent:
MT @martinchulov Though few in number, key to Jabhat al-Nusra is they've spearheaded/jointly-led every large mil op near Aleppo since Sept
— Joshua Hersh (@joshuahersh) December 10, 2012
The US move is part of an effort to better identify various Syrian opposition factions in the wake of the formation of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, according to the report.
The head of the new Syrian opposition coalition is briefing European Union foreign ministers today on a proposed plan to end the violence in Syria, where tens of thousands of people have been killed in fighting between rebel forces and those loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.