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Gulf Countries Instigated Anti-Damascus Uprising in 2011 Using al-Qaeda, Says Indian Ambassador

Jan. 16, 2016 (EIRNS)—In an interview (in Germaner) with the German economic news agency Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN), former Indian Ambassador to Syria V.P. Haran (2009-12), now Ambassador to Bhutan, said the uprisings against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was instigated from outside by the Gulf countries using al-Qaeda to create chaos within Syria, reported Sputnik today. He said Bashar al-Assad was a popular leader and that is why he is still in power. There is no adequate internal opposition and many of the problems in Syria were initiated by foreign sources who were trying to get rid of an inconvenient regime. He said 67% of the entire Arab world had voted for him in a 2009 survey as the most popular Arab person. "Even the diplomatic community agreed that he had the support of about 80% of the Syrian population," Haran said, Sputnik noted.

Pointing out that Syria was a peaceful country, with its economy doing well when he arrived there in 2009, Haran said "Syria was a peaceful country without any hidden tensions." Unemployment had reached 8%, but unemployed Syrians could find work in the Gulf States. Syrian life was very peaceful, he said.

He was also emphatic in claiming that the chaos was created from outside and it had nothing to do with the so-called Shi’a-Sunni tensions.

"Have a look at the numbers. There are more than 50% of Muslims in Syria are Sunni. And there are Kurds, Druze, Maronites, Assyrians, Alawites and others making up the rest. Bashar al-Assad has the full support of these minorities and even a large part of the Sunni Muslims supported him. But by the time when I left in 2012, Syria had changed a lot. During the first few years were like in heaven, things worsened early in the year 2011, when the Arab Spring occurred. But Syria was still calm,"

Haran told DWN, according to a translation appearing in LiveLeak.

"The external supporters of the opposition could not digest this. They sent a group of people to the Syrian-Jordanian border where they overran two security posts. They killed all people there. Some of them were killed in the cruelest al-Qaeda manner. The government did not announce this immediately. However, a member of the diplomatic community confirmed that it had been al-Qaeda from Iraq. It was evident that al-Qaeda from Iraq were present in Syria since April 2011.

"Al-Qaeda was there from the first week, or since end of 2011, as al-Qaeda flags were visible. These were the groups who supplied the opposition with support from outside of the borders. In Raqqa the fighters came from the north and it was clear that it was al-Qaeda,"

Haran said.