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Home / Defying Allies, Qatar Unlikely To Abandon Favoured Syria Rebels

Defying Allies, Qatar Unlikely To Abandon Favoured Syria Rebels

Qatar’s Syria process matters not usually since Doha stays a inexhaustible devotee of a antithesis though also since a brawl with other funders.


Qatar’s subsidy for Syrian rebels widely regarded as jihadi militants competence seem a tactful guilt during a time when tellurian alarm about al Qaeda is on a rebound.

But that is not a approach things are noticed in a Gulf Arab state, that is unapproachable of a self-declared debate to behind a Arab Spring revolts opposite despotic order that began in 2011.

The small though rich gas exporting nation is underneath extreme vigour from some Gulf Arab neighbours to quell a support for Islamists of all stripes, predominantly a Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and some-more radical insurgent groups with al Qaeda ties in Syria.

The dual many absolute Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia and a United Arab Emirates (UAE) are angry by Qatar’s hosting of Doha-based Youssef al-Qaradawi, an successful pro-Brotherhood reverend whom they see as a manly domestic menace.

They are also mad about Qatar’s use of a Al Jazeera broadcaster and Qatari radio to foster Brotherhood views vicious of other Gulf Arab states, and Al Jazeera’s atmosphere time for groups with al Qaeda ties in Syria.

At a time when Sunni militants are resurgent in a Middle East and North Africa, and thousands of foreigners are fighting with al Qaeda aligned groups in Syria, many Gulf Arab officials understand Qatar’s continued support of Islamists as reckless.

But Qatar, a U.S. ally, is signalling defiance.

“The autonomy of Qatar’s unfamiliar process is simply non-negotiable,” Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah pronounced in a debate in Paris this month

“Qatar is to take decisions, and follow a path, of a own.”

In a box of Syria, diplomats and sources tighten to a supervision contend it is doubtful to desert groups that are among a toughest in fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, no matter a slam a process takes from both allies and enemies.

Qatar’s Syria process matters not usually since Doha stays a inexhaustible devotee of a antithesis though also since a brawl with other funders — quite Riyadh and Western states — about who to behind do small to reanimate months of aroused insurgent rifts.

The infighting has undermined a rebels’ three-year-old quarrel opposite Assad and a inflection of hardline jihadi groups has done Western governments wavering to behind a rebellion.

But Doha sees a friends in Syria as leisure fighters, not militants. Its central line is that Qatar supports usually a assuage armed groups corroborated also by Saudi Arabia and a West.

“PLAYING WITH FIRE”

Qatar also rejects any idea it provides assistance to al Qaeda, seen in Washington as a discontinued though still lethal foe.

And nonetheless fighters inside Syria, and diplomats and analysts in a segment contend Doha also provides assistance to groups that have concurrent tactically on a belligerent with al Qaeda affiliates and that share their aspiration to emanate a despotic Islamic state.

An Arab tactful source pronounced Qatar knew it was “playing with fire, though this is what Qatar does: They benefit a certainty of absolute nonconformist groups that they trust gives them a tactful corner over any other country.”

A Gulf-based diplomat pronounced Qatar was still subsidy Islamist groups in Syria, promulgation them financial assist and light weapons.

“Let’s face it, a Islamist groups are a strongest on a belligerent in Syria right now, and Qatar believes that after Assad they’ll arise to power,” a diplomat added.

An instance is Ahrar al-Sham, that adheres to Islam’s ultra regressive Salafi tradition, has thousands of fighters and is partial of a Islamic Front, an amalgam of 6 Islamist groups.

The front was shaped final Nov as a opposite to a U.S.-backed Supreme Military Council insurgent leadership, depriving it of some of a categorical members. An Arab diplomat pronounced a Front was combined by Qatar and Turkey to try to check an boost in Saudi change with a rebels rescued in 2013.

REBEL RIFTS

“Qatar backs a Islamic Front and Ahrar al-Sham is partial of it, it is an critical partial of a Islamic Front so because would Qatar stop subsidy it?” an Islamic Front commander told Reuters by write on Tuesday from inside Syria.

Diplomats contend Saudi Arabia backs jingoist and Islamist groups that have no links to al Qaeda.

With Saudi Arabia stepping adult efforts to strengthen itself from jihadi change during home and plainly opposite Qatar’s policies, insurgent rifts might now worsen.

Saudi Arabia, a United Arab Emirates and Bahrain removed their ambassadors from Doha observant Qatar had interfered in their affairs, a anxiety to a support of Islamist groups opposite to them.

On a ground, a disruption is visible.

“Nothing has altered in Qatar’s support for a Islamic Front with all a factions, including Ahrar al-Sham and Islam Army,” a Islamic Front commander said.

Another Islamic Front commander told Reuters that Qatari financial subsidy continued, though during a reduce turn compared to 4 months ago. He pronounced he did not know why.

VOLATILE SITUATION

Admirers of Qatari process contend there is zero sinister about subsidy groups like Ahrar al-Sham.

They note members of a Islamic Front including Ahrar al-Sham have fought a Islamic State in Iraq and a Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda crush organisation that is a many hardline of all a Islamist army in Syria. They contend a organisation is fighting to reinstate Assad with Islamic order rather than seeking to attend in a trans-national jihad opposite a West.

Qatar’s ties to Islamists are also a source of U.S. unease.

Washington is a friend: Qatar plays horde to a many critical troops bottom in a region, has tighten U.S. blurb ties and for years has worked with Washington in mediating conflicts around a region.

But U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, in a debate in Washington on Mar 4, cited press reports that a Qatari supervision is “supporting nonconformist groups handling in Syria”

“To contend a least, this threatens to irritate an already flighty conditions in a quite dangerous and unwelcome manner,” he said.


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