Qatar emir: Airstrikes against IS not enough

Emir of Qatar Sheik Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa.

Emir of Qatar Sheik Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa.

DOHA: Qatar’s emir said Tuesday that US-led coalition airstrikes are not enough to defeat “terrorism and extremism” in Iraq and Syria as he urged the world to take action against factors fueling radicalism there — a suggestion that also took aim at the Syrian regime.

Speaking to his legislative advisory council, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said the policies of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and “some militias in Iraq” — a reference to Iranian-backed Shiite militias — are the most important factors contributing to extremism in the two countries.

“Any counter-terrorism policies in Syria and Iraq that do not take this into account are just crisis management,” he told the Shoura Council.

Qatar plays a supporting role in the US-led military coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria by allowing coalition forces to use its vast Al-Udeid air base.

The country has provided substantial arms and other aid to Syrian rebels, and along with other Arab states has pushed for tougher action against Assad’s government.

Tamim also touched on the effect of falling oil prices on the OPEC member nation.

“We have a strong and robust economy and will not be affected by such developments,” he said. Still, he called on civil servants to rein in “extravagant and wasteful” public spending, whatever the price of oil.

 
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