US using Qatar as a tool against Syria: pro-regime paper
AFP, Saturday 21 Jan 2012
Syrian government newspaper claims that Qatar is funding armed rebels in Syria and helping the US 'fuel' the unrest against the Bashar al-Assd regime

Qatar, which has called for Arab troops to deploy in crisis-hit Syria, is a "tool" being used by the United States against Damascus, state newspaper Ath-Thawra newspaper reported on Saturday.

The claim was made as Arab League foreign ministers are to meet in Cairo on review an observer mission critics say has been unable to stem the violence in Syria. League officials have voiced satisfaction with the mission's progress so far.

"It is clear that Qatar, disappointed by the first report of the observers, has started to distance itself from the Arab League and the report expected" on Sunday, the paper wrote.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, only has use for the observers if they give "their approval to put in place his plans, conforming with the obligations taken from Washington", the paper alleged.

The emir told the US-television programme "60 Minutes" that Arab troops should deploy in Syria to "stop the killing," in an interview broadcast last Sunday. Syria has fiercely rejected the proposal.

The paper accused Qatar of financing the armed insurgents that Damascus blames for fuelling 10 months of unrest that has claimed more than 5,400 lives, according to UN estimates.

The paper charged that Washington does not want to be "directly implicated" in the Syria crisis and therefore "intends to turn Qatar into a tool to tear down" President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The head of the Arab League mission, General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi of Sudan, will present a report to Arab foreign ministers, after a meeting of the League's Syria crisis panel, which is chaired by Qatar.