Hamad bin Jassim admitted in an interview on October 26 with Qatari national broadcaster that his country, a tiny state to the south of the Persian Gulf, was part of a group of four countries that delivered weapons and funds to the terrorists in Syria.
Hamad said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey sent their weapons for militant groups in Syria via the US military forces in the region.
“Anything [weapons] that was sent [to Syria] would go through Turkey and was coordinated with the US, and the distribution of anything was via US forces,” the former Qatari premier said.
Hamad said the four countries only supported those armed groups designated as the moderate Syrian opposition in the West but outlawed by the Syrian government. He admitted that many of the weapons had found their way into the hands of al-Nusra Front, a group allied to al-Qaeda. Hamad rejected similar claims about supporting ISIS, the main Takfiri terrorist group operating in Syria.
Hamad also censured the Saudi regime for revising its policy on Syria by forgetting previous calls for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He said the Saudis now wanted Assad to stay in power, a stance, he said, Riyadh was not willing to share with others.
“You [Saudi Arabia] are now saying keep Bashar. Ok let him stay, we don’t have any problem, we have no quarrel with him. He was a friend of us … But you [Saudi Arabia] were in the same trench with us, if you changed your mind, tell us so,” Hamad said.
The remarks come amid a worsening row between Qatar and Saudi-led regimes.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade against it, accusing Doha of funding “terrorism”. Qatar has vehemently rejected the allegations as “baseless”.
On June 22, the group issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera TV, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade. Doha rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to infringe Qatar’s sovereignty.