A top Iraqi politician has said that Qatari and Turkish support for Sunni rebels fighting President Assad’s government in Syria amounts to a declaration on war against Iraq.
“Presenting money and weapons to al Qaeda (in Syria) by Qatar and Turkey is a declaration of armed action against Iraq,” transport minister Hadi al-Amiri told Reuters this week. “These weapons will reach Iraqi chests for sure.”
As the civil war in Syria has dragged on it has become increasingly sectarian, pitting Sunni Muslim rebels against Shia supporters of the government. The same divisions and tensions between Sunni and Shia also exist across much of the Middle East, and the war in Syria has served to stoke tensions and increase violence in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq. Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the other main backers of the Syrian rebels, are all majority Sunni Muslim countries.
In Iraq an upsurge in sectarian violence has led to fears of a renewed Sunni uprising against the Shia government.