Monday Jan 23, 201203:28 AM GMT
'Qatar fosters anti-Syria terrorism'
Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:39AM
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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (file photo)
A Syrian daily has accused Qatar of arming and funding terrorist groups inside Syria, days after the Qatari emir called for deployment of Arab troops in the country.


The call for deployment “falls within the framework of the negative role played by Qatar since the start of this crisis [in Syria]…through the financing of armed groups,” the Tishrin daily wrote on Wednesday.

It added that Qatar could instead “help Syria get out of its crisis…by stopping its financing of armed groups and the trafficking of weapons” to the terrorists.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani had in an interview aired on Sunday urged the deployment as alleged means of stopping, what he referred to as, deadly crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Sheikh Hamad is the first Arab leader to publicly call for such deployment.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry rejected Qatar's demand in a statement, saying that such move would “worsen the crisis…and pave the way for foreign intervention” in the country.

The statement said Damascus would oppose any attempt to violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity and urged Arab nations to end the media campaign against Syria, saying it would only continue to worsen the situation.

Meanwhile, Arab League observers continue their visits to Syrian cities and towns and Damascus says it will allow them to stay longer to further their investigation of the unrest.

The League is expected to discuss the observers' reports on Syria on Thursday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of Assad's government.

Hundreds of people, including many members of the Syrian security forces, have been killed during the unrest.

The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence, while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

The government also says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

In addition, Syrian state TV has broadcast reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorist elements describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.

MHB/PM/HN
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