BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 P.M.) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Qatar of triggering the conflict in Syria by inciting Syrian citizens to demonstrate in 2011.

“The problem really started when the Qatari money flowed into Syria,” Assad told RT in an interview last week.

“It was very simple. The Qatari government will definitely deny that. ”

Asked if the conflict in Syria was linked to the so-called Arab Spring, Assad said: “Of course, there is an overlap in this region because the culture is the same, the background is the same, and the circumstances are somewhat the same.”

“Some participated in the demonstrations because they wanted to improve their situation, and some had their own ideas on improving the political system, and more freedom, and put different slogans in those demonstrations,” he continued.

“Yes, it was mainly because of the impact of what happened in other countries, as a new wave. They started leading the demonstrations with the cries of Allahu Akbar and used religious slogans to impose a religious, and sometimes sectarian, cloak on the demonstrations,” he would add.

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He would know.