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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Report: Hamas pulling out of Syria due to pressure by Turkey and Qatar

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The Palestinian faction Hamas is making a “soft exit” from Syria, replacing its Damascus headquarters with offices in Qatar and Egypt, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hamas’s senior leadership has been based in Syria since it was banned from Jordan in 1999.

An unnamed official from the group told the WSJ that the move came in response to pressure from Turkey and Qatar, who are at odds with Syria over its brutal eight-month crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in the country.

The Journal article quotes the Hamas official: 

“Qatar and Turkey urged us to leave Syria immediately,” said a senior Hamas security official who has relocated to Gaza from Damascus. “They said, ‘Have you no shame? It’s enough. You have to get out.’

Hamas has reportedly been divesting from Syria in recent months in preparation for the move.

Credit: Photo of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal by Tango

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