Iraq says Turkish and Qatari support for the militants fighting against the Syrian government is a declaration of war against Baghdad. “Presenting money and weapons to al Qaeda (in Syria) by Qatar and Turkey is a declaration of armed action against Iraq,” Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi al-Amiri said in an interview with Reuters published on Wednesday. “These weapons will reach Iraqi chests for sure,” Amiri added. The Iraqi minister said Turkey and Qatar have foiled the efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria peacefully.
Amiri further accused Ankara and Doha of arming the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in Syria, including al-Nusra Front which has links to al Qaeda in Iraq as well.The shadowy al-Qaeda group in Iraq has been blamed for a number of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country since the US-led invasion in March 2003. Turkey and Qatar have openly voiced support for the militants battling against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many people, including a large number of security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-backed unrest that broke out in Syria in March 2011. Damascus says certain Western states, especially the United States, and their regional allies are fueling the violence in the Arab country. On February 15, Syria sent a letter to the United Nations blasting Turkey's “destructive” role in the violence that has ravaged the country for the past two years. “Turkey has turned its territory into camps used to house, train, finance and infiltrate armed terrorist groups, among them the al-Qaeda network and the al-Nusra Front,” said the letter. On February 13, Qatar reportedly decided to hand the Syrian Embassy in Doha to Syria’s main opposition bloc in yet another act of hostility against the crisis-hit country. MKA/JR