Qatar Runs Covert Training Camp for Syria Terrorists: Report

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Qatar is covertly training militants fighting the Syrian government with the help of the United States, Reuters reported.

The agency reported that the camp is aimed at training the so-called “moderate rebels” in order to fight both the Syrian government and the Takfiri group operating in Syria and Iraq (ISIL).

The camp, south of the capital between Saudi Arabia’s border and Al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East, is being used to train the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) from northern Syria.

FSA sources the effort had been running for nearly a year, although it was too small to have a significant impact on the battlefield, and some militants complained of not being taught advanced techniques.

Small groups of 12 to 20 fighters are identified in Syria and screened by the Central Intelligence Agency, the sources said.

Once cleared of links with “terrorist” factions, they travel to Turkey and are then flown to Doha and driven to the base, according to the source.

“The U.S. wanted to help the rebels oust Assad but didn’t want to be open about their support, so to have rebels trained in Qatar is a good idea, the problem is the scale is too small,” Reuters quoted a Western source in Doha as saying.

“The U.S. wanted to help the rebels oust Assad but didn’t want to be open about their support, so to have rebels trained in Qatar is a good idea, the problem is the scale is too small,” Reuters quoted a Western source in Doha as saying.

Ambush Techniques
“Moderate rebels from the FSA and other groups have been flown in to get trained in things like ambush techniques,” said a source close to the Qatari government who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic.

“The training would last a few months, maybe two or three, and then a new group would be flown in, but no lethal weapons were supplied to them,” one of the sources said.

The agency noted that militants asked their trainers for more advanced techniques, such as building improvised explosive devices (IEDs), requests which were always denied.

“They complain a lot and say that going back they need more weapons or more training in IEDs but that’s not something that’s given to them,” said a Qatar-based defense source.

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