Zawahiri's al-Qaeda Want a Piece of Syria
Long suspected, but no openly statement declared al-Qaeda's connection to the Nusra rebel group, until now.
Al-Qaeda's leader, Zawahiri, declared that his terrorist group has a stake and interest in securing a piece of Syria. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been operating for a long time there. They have camps, train and bomb, all under the eyes of Iraq's government who is too afraid of them. The group has been supporting the Syrian Jabbat al Nusra front. This group first emerged in 2012 from car bombings in Damascus and Aleppo. They are Syrians but they fought in Iraq and now are close to al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Nusra, is like the armor spearhead of conventional armies. They are the best trained and most military-like organization. The Free Syrian army, are Syrians seeking a democracy of sorts. This group has far less trained men for combat.
Zawahiri indicated the goal is to create a jihadist Islamic state in part of Syria. Nusra already controls much of the eastern sections, including oil fields, that border Iraq. To counter this, the CIA is working with Syrian rebels to fight and neutralize al-Nusra. Al-Qaeda even declared that half of its budget is now for the support in achieving their goal in Syria and removing Assad.
One can now see that even if Assad is killed or leaves and his army defects or runs, the war will become one between Syrians who want real freedom and those who support al-Qaeda. of course, this means the US will become more involved to prevent this once Assad leaves.