The Qatari regime had been implementing a secret plan to fund and arm terrorist groups in Syria since the outbreak of the revolution there in 2011, where it used humanitarian aid and support for the civilians and Syrian opposition as a cover for implementing the plan of enabling the Muslim Brotherhood from ruling Syria at any cost. For this end, it armed more than ten terrorist groups in Syria via Turkey and Iraq and with the coordination and support of the Turkish regime and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Qatar’s goal of this support and armament was to spread chaos throughout Syria and to secure a place for the Muslim Brotherhood in its future as well as strengthening cooperation with the Iranian and Turkish allies and to coordinate and share interests, foremost of which is to undermine any Arab-non-Qatari presence on Syrian soil.

Doha financed terrorist groups in Syria by giving their fighters monthly salaries and additional funds to purchase weapons and ammunition from within Syria and other countries in the region. To this end, the Qatari regime has set up an intelligence apparatus of Syrian and Arab elements to carry out many tasks inside Syria, including assassinations and thwarting any rapprochement inside the Syrian opposition as well as undermining any progress in Syria that does not serve the Iranian and Ikhwani interests.

The Qatari regime worked to form a secret alliance between some of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders on the one hand and Iran on the other inside Syria. The objectives and tasks were set up to serve the Qatari and Iranian sides, especially after the Russians involvement in the Syrian case, and the Iranian feeling that all its efforts would be in vain if it Russia was let to dominate the Syrian arena. Qatar as well, which has suffered an international and regional isolation, found it necessary to ally with Iran in Syria in order to maintain its interests, especially that such alliance has proven to be successful in countries like Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and some African countries.

This secret alliance has been working since the beginning of the crisis to promote the Ikhwani thoughts as well as Shi’ism in Syria through understandings previously determined between the two parties. The final goal was to divide Syria into two, a Sunni-part led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and a Shiite one led by Iran and its supporters. However, the strong Russian intervention deeply discomposed the Iranian-Qatari calculations, which is the secret behind the resentment of Iran and Qatar against the huge Russian involvement in Syria and the subsequent agreements between the Russians and the United States, some of which included the expulsion of Iran from Syria, which became Syrian internal demand as well as Arab and international one. This however angered Tehran and Doha and prompted them to expand their alliance and establish more channels of communication with the terrorist groups deployed in the region. So, it can be said that Iran and Qatar have had full control over all terrorist and extremist groups in the region.

Doha and Tehran believe that the only way to break the isolation imposed on them and all other restrictions is by igniting chaos in the region through terrorist means to make regional and global powers busy in combatting terrorism not in imposing more sanctions on these subversive regimes and also to use these terrorist groups as leverage cards for any future negotiations with the regional and global powers.

Therefore, the two sides will work to consolidate this dangerous alliance and expand it in the next stage by establishing as much terrorist groups as they can and provide them with dangerous weapons, thus posing a threat to countries that stand against the Iranian-Qatari project, led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and others. This explains the pressing attempts by Revolutionary Guard and the Qatari intelligence services to delivering heavy weapons, including rockets, to Shiite sectarian mobilization forces in Iraq, the Houthi group in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

16 September  2018