Leader of al-Qaeda in Syria told not to use country as launchpad to attack the West

The head of Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria last night said he had been told by the terror group’s leader not to use the country as a launch-pad to attack the West, in a highly significant change in its relations with America and Europe.

The intervention by the head of Jabhat al-Nusra Abu Mohammed al-Golani, in a rare interview, is a key statement of intent as the Syrian war hits another turning point.

“The instructions that we have are not to use al-Sham (Syria) as a base to launch attacks on the West or Europe, so as not to muddy the current war,” al-Golani told Al-Jazeera television.