" Qatar has spent about three billion dollars in the past two years to support the opposition in Syria, which far exceeds what provided by any other government. However, the Saudi Arabia competes now in leading the bodies providing Syrian opposition with weapons, " an article published in the paper on Friday said.
The article cited the Institute for Peace Research in Stockholm which tracks the arms supply to the Syrian opposition saying that “Qatar is the largest arms exporter to Syria, where it funded more than 70 cargo flights of weapons to neighboring Turkey between April 2012 and March 2013. ”
FT indicated that Qatari support for the Syrian opposition, which turned the situation into a devastating civil war, overwhelms the Western support.
The UK daily also noted that during scores of interviews it made with militant opposition leaders at home and abroad, along with senior western and regional officials, everyone stressed the growing role of Qatar in the Syrian crisis, and this has become a controversial issue.
The paper pointed out that " the small state with huge appetite " is the largest donor of aid to the Syrian political opposition, offering generous grants for dissidents, amounting fifty thousand dollars per year for the dissident and his family, according to latest estimates.
Sources close to the Qatari government told FT that the total spending on the Syrian crisis reached $3 bn, while the armed opposition and diplomatic sources said the amount of Qatari assistance reached one billion dollars at most.