Al-Qaeda flags fly over rebel-held Syria

By John Rosenthal, Asia Times

There has recently been a small stir in the American media, as media organizations from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to the Associated Press have finally gotten around to acknowledging a “presence” of al-Qaeda and like-minded jihadist groups among the Syrian rebel forces seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

It is difficult to see what the cause of the excitement is. After all, such a presence has been blindingly obvious for many months: whether as a result of the dozens of suicide attacks that have

plagued Syria or the numerous videos that have emerged showing rebel forces or supporters proudly displaying the distinctive black flag of al-Qaeda.

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