The leader of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, offered on Monday a €3-million bounty for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a €2-million bounty for Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.
In a recorded voice message posted online, al-Jolani described recent Russian intervention in Syria as “evidence of Iran’s failure [in Syria] and [indicative of] the Syrian regime’s imminent collapse”.
Al-Jolani added that recent “mujahedeen” attacks on Syrian regime forces had “foiled the regime’s plan to establish an Alawite state stretching from south of Damascus to the Latakia province”.
He went on to assert that Russia had exploited the situation by intervening in Syria, which, he said, was “using it as a card against the West with a view to forcing a solution to the crisis in Ukraine”.
He also accused Russia of killing Syrian civilians and urged “mujahedeen” in the Caucasus region to retaliate against Russia for its recent operations in Syria.
Russia began carrying out airstrikes in war-torn Syria on Sept. 30. According to the Kremlin, the strikes are aimed at supporting the Assad regime — an ally of Russia’s — against Daesh.
Turkey and the West, for their part, accuse Russia of targeting moderate groups in Syria opposed to Assad, many of which are supported by Ankara and Washington.
At least 250,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in early 2011, with 7.6 million internally displaced and over four million having fled to nearby countries, according to the European Council.