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Qatar Reduces Funding to Syrian National Coalition | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Buses that will transfer militants are seen parked in Jroud Arsal, Syria-Lebanon border. (Ali Hashisho / REUTERS)

Beirut, London- Qatar has decided to reduce its funding to the “Syrian National Coalition,” a move that forced the group to conduct some changes in its accounts and in the financing of its offices and to push employees to work as volunteers, Syrian opposition sources said on Monday.

Doha previously sent a monthly sum of around $300,000 to a bank account in Turkey. This sum then decreased to an amount ranging between $230,000 to 270,000, according to a Syrian opposition source.

The source said that following the election of Riad Seif as the new head of the Coalition, Qatar sent an amount that was sufficient for only one month, later bringing its financial support to a standstill or to the brink of one.

The Coalition tackled the recent “financial crisis” in several meetings held in Turkey, and decided to drop the number of its employees outside the country, encouraging others to work as volunteers.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Coalition said the group did not ask the French government to close its offices in the country, adding that the SNC representatives in France were operating normally and were in continuous contact with both the French foreign ministry and the presidency.

Meanwhile, Saraya Ahl al-Sham militants left on Monday Lebanon’s Jurud Arsal to east Qalamoun in the countryside of Damascus. Their deportation was previously halted when Damascus insisted that they move in buses and not private cars, a condition that Ahl al-Sham militants later accepted.

A communiqué issued by Lebanon’s General Security said that 34 buses transporting hundreds of gunmen and their families left Lebanon towards the Syrian territories.

The evacuation of militants from Jurud Arsal paves the way for the Lebanese Army and “Hezbollah” to control the area, and trigger the battle against ISIS in the Jurud of Ras Baalbak and Qaa on Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria.