Qatar transports weapons, fighters to Libya, Syria: Western researchers



Sat, 28 Oct 2017 - 04:02 GMT


Sat, 28 Oct 2017 - 04:02 GMT

Flag of Qatar, Via Flacker Photo Creative

Flag of Qatar, Via Flacker Photo Creative

CAIRO – 28 October 2017: Christopher Davidson, a British researcher who teaches Middle East politics at Durham University in England, stated that Qatar was involved in the transport of weapons and fighters from Libya to Syria in 2012 and 2013, but is now transporting them to Libya.

Davidson’s statement came in an article published on the Voice of America website on Saturday concerning the accusations of Arab media that Qatar helps to transport Islamic State militants from Syria and Iraq to the south of Libya.

“Its usefulness has significantly declined in that theater of operations, and the weapons and presumably the men — at least the foreign fighters — are being moved to where they're needed most," Davidson added.

The Gulf analyst Theodore Karasik, based in Washington, also agreed with Davidson’s opinion, saying that “it appeared Doha was continuing its support for militants and that other players, such as Sudan and Turkey, were involved behind the scenes”.

The article also mentioned that Chad shut down the Qatari embassy in the country after accusing Qatar of using its soil to destabilize nations in the Lake Chad basin and the Sahel.

A military spokesman for the Libyan National Army earlier this month stated that Qatari support for IS terrorists, especially financial support, had not stopped.

He accused Qatar of transporting Islamic State militants from Syria and Iraq to Sudan and then on to Libya.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta also said this week at a conference organized by the Hudson Institute that Qatar has a history of supporting terrorism.

"Qatar, frankly, has had a mixed record. We know they've provided support — financial support — for the Muslim Brotherhood, for terrorism, for Hamas, for elements of al-Qaida, the Taliban,” he stated.
While Qatar has enforced measures to prevent the funding of terrorism and has implemented laws to this effect, more has to be done, he added.

He also said that the international community “really needs to have a commitment by Qatar that they are in fact going to abide by what they say they’re doing.”

Washington, under the Trump administration, only creates more obstacles. “I’ve never seen Washington as dysfunctional as it is today,” Panetta stated.

Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf States have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani’s statements, in which he regarded Gulf foreign policy with Iran as “unwise.”

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspace were cut off to Qatari vessels.

The countries listed 13 demands to be met by Qatar, including severing ties with terrorist groups, closing down the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite channel, downgrading ties with arch-rival Iran and closing a Turkish air base in Qatar.



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