Qatar’s Growing Influence in Africa and the Middle East

Heritage.org 13 February 2013
By Sarah Field

Qatar, a small peninsula off Saudi Arabia that’s the size of Connecticut, is a strong security partner to the United States on many issues, but its support for Islamist forces within many countries affected by the Arab Spring raises important questions.

Last year, Qatar hosted Syrian opposition groups to discuss a unified opposition government. It also joined Saudi Arabia in sending military assistance to the Syrian opposition.

However, it is not clear who is benefiting from the funds: The al-Nusra Front, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, is said to have exploited the power vacuum in Syria and is fighting alongside the opposition. (continue reading...)