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Syria accuses neighbours of supporting ‘terrorism’

(AFP) / 12 February 2012

DAMASCUS - Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad on Sunday said Syria had proof that neighbouring countries were actively supporting “terrorist groups” within its borders.

Meqdad accused unspecified “neighbouring countries... of financing the terrorist groups and giving them refuge,” according to the official SANA news agency, while denouncing a “hysterical campaign of disinformation” against Syria.

Damascus has frequently blamed armed terrorist groups for the violence that has rocked Syria since anti-regime protests first erupted 11 months ago, and which activists say has left more than 6,000 people dead.

It also accuses satellite television channels such as Qatar’s Al-Jazeera and Saudi-funded Al-Arabiya of inciting unrest.

“Syria will present documentary evidence and demand that these countries hand over the terrorist groups and their leaders, who operate from within their territories, and to pay compensation to the families of the victims,” Meqdad said.

The Syrian foreign minister on Friday accused Arab and Western countries, which he did not name, of supporting those who carried out twin car bombings in the northern city of Aleppo that killed 28 people and wounded 235.

Meqdad said those states that claimed to fight against terrorism had failed to condemn the attack, reflecting the “political double standards of these countries.”

A US media report citing unnamed American officials said Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi branch was likely to have carried out the Aleppo bombings, along with attacks in Damascus in December and January.

The bombings appeared to verify Syria’s charges of Al-Qaeda involvement in the uprising against his 11-year rule, said the McClatchy Newspapers chain.

Iraq’s deputy interior minister said jihadists were moving from Iraq to Syria, as were weapons for Assad’s opponents.

Meqdad said those betting on the fall of the Assad regime were “mistaken.”

“Syria will resist, thanks to the reforms led by President Bashar al-Assad,” he added, calling on “those who reject dialogue to join (talks) that will bring Syria out of the crisis.”

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