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Israeli military sees Syria a destination for ‘millions of unemployed young Arabs’

A Syrian reacts as flames and smoke rise from burned cars after two bombs exploded in the Qazaz neighborhood in Damascus in May.  /AP

Special to TEL AVIV — Israel’s military has assessed that Al Qaida-aligned fighters in Syria and others from Iran could turn from their war against Assad to other targets. Military sources said the Intelligence Corps has been closely following the thousands of foreign jihad fighters in Syria. The sources said the Al Qaida-aligned operatives, [...]

July 4th, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Iran,Israel,Mideast,Qatar,Syria,Terrorism | Read More »

U.S. offers safe haven, stipends to key Syrians who betray Assad

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Special to WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community has opened a secret dialogue with members of the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Western diplomatic sources said the CIA and State Department were sending messages to middle and senior level members of the Assad regime. The sources said the messages, sent through relatives [...]

June 27th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Syria | Read More »

Qatar denies Iran, Syria retaliation in mall fire that killed Western nationals

Villagio Mall in Doha’s west end.

Special to ABU DHABI — Qatar has been struggling with rumors that Iran and Syria ordered the torching of a mall in which 13 people were killed. The Gulf Cooperation Council emirate has denied reports that Iran and Syria targeted a major shopping mall in Qatar. The reports said several mall executives were arrested [...]

June 6th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Iran,Mideast,Qatar,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

U.S. moves against Syrian bank termed sanctions ‘evasion route’

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen.  /AP

Special to WASHINGTON — The United States, under pressure to stop President Bashar Assad, has imposed sanctions on a major Syrian bank. The Treasury Department has designated the Syria International Islamic Bank for U.S. sanctions. Treasury said the Syrian bank was serving as a front to help the nation’s financial community circumvent U.S. and [...]

June 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Stateside,Syria,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence | Read More »

Israel okays Qatar fuel shipment to ease Gaza energy crisis

Special to GAZA CITY — Qatar has sent its first fuel tranfer the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. Officials said a Qatari fuel tanker arrived at the Egyptian port of Suez in May. They said Israel has approved the transfer of the ship’s 30 million liters of fuel in an effort to ease [...]

May 4th, 2012 | Posted in Egypt,Exclusives,Hamas,Israel,Mideast,Qatar,Top Stories | Read More »

Gulf states give millions to arm Syrian rebels; U.S. supplies communications tech

US Secretary of State speaking with foreign ministers at the Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul on April 1.  /AP

Special to ANKARA — The Gulf Cooperation Council intends to form a war chest for the Sunni revolt in Syria. GCC states have agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to arm, train and pay Sunni fighters sworn to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. Diplomats said the GCC effort would be led by [...]

April 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Stateside,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey,U.S. Politics | Read More »

Chemical tanker explodes in Arabian Gulf

The Liberian-flagged (MV) Stolt Valor on fire in the Arabian Gulf.  /U.S. Navy photo

Special to ABU DHABI — A tanker exploded near Saudi Arabia, triggering a regional alert. The ship, identified as MV Stolt Valor, exploded near the Saudi coast on March 19. The explosion triggered an alert in neighboring Bahrain and Qatar for oil spill and chemical fallout. Officials said the Liberian-registered tanker left Saudi Arabia’s [...]

March 21st, 2012 | Posted in Bahrain,Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Qatar extends security role in post-Gadhafi Libya

Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C) and Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (L) attend the "Friends of Libya" group meeting held in Doha, Qatar on October 26, 2011 to discuss the future of the country after Col. Moammar Gadhafi was buried in secret.

Special to ABU DHABI — Qatar has sought to rebuild Libya’s military in wake of the fall of the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Officials said the Gulf Cooperation Council emirate has been meeting with the leaders of the new interim government of Tripoli. They said Qatar has discussed significant assistance, including weapons deliveries, [...]

March 14th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Libya,Mideast,Qatar,Top Stories | Read More »

Moscow rattled: Syrian rebels ‘trained in Libya’ by militants tied to Al Qaida

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin.  /Reuters/Keith Bedford

Special to WASHINGTON — Libya is said to have been training Syrian rebels sworn to oust President Bashar Assad. Diplomats said Libya was believed to be hosting a camp for the training of Syrian rebels linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. They said the camp as well as equipment and training was being financed by [...]

March 9th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Libya,Mideast,Qatar,Russia,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Qatari leader calls on world to arm Syrian rebels

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani.  /AFP/Getty Images

Special to ABU DHABI — Qatar has become the second Arab League state to call for the arming of the Syrian opposition. Qatar has urged the international community to help send weapons to the Sunni rebels in Syria. Doha, deemed a leading supporter of the rebels, said the arms would be used to defend [...]

February 28th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »