Middle EastSyria

Qatari Officials: We Funded “Moderate Groups” in Syria along with CIA, Others

Militant Islamist fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province

Senior Qatari officials told BBC that Qatar had provided support to “moderate groups”, in co-ordination with the CIA and other Western and Arab intelligence agencies.ISIL

They denied that their country was supporting extremist groups in Syria such as ISIL. “Strict financial controls had been put in place,” they added.

In the past, Qatar and donors there are believed to have financed and armed hardline Islamist groups in Syria. Doha is also believed to have links to the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, BBC said.

Earlier this month a number of British MPs were reported to have questioned the UK’s closeness to Qatar, amid the claims of the links to ISIL funding.

Last week US Treasury official David Cohen said Qatar, along with Kuwait, was not doing enough to choke off funding for extremist groups.

The Qatari denial came ahead of a visit to the UK this week by Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

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