An Iranian new agency reports that Qatar has allocated 300 million U.S. as bribes for Syrian officials to defect. No doubt many want to defect anyway but the availability of bribes would no doubt increase the numbers defecting. Qatar has been a strong supporter of rebels fighting against the Assad regime. Qatar has called for armed intervention and the arming of rebels. Qatar along with Saudi Arabia
are probably already providing arms for the rebels. While Iranian news agencies are no doubt biased in these matters it does not seem improbable that the rich oil sheikdom would offer financial incentives to defectors.
Qatar’s ambassador in Mauritania
allegedly offered his Syrian counterpart an advance payment of US$1 million and a monthly salary of $20,000 over 20 years to convince the diplomat to defect and voice support for the opposition. The ambassador Hamad Seed Albni was also offered a permanent residence in the Qatari capital Doha, but refused the proposition according to a Lebanese TV report. The diplomat reportedly called the offer a “blatant interference” in Syria’s affairs .Bashar al-Assad’s government has endured a number of high-profile defections recently. The Syrian ambassador to Iraq defected a month ago and ended up where else but in Qatar.
The newly-appointed Syrian prime minister also defected. He apparently planned the defection from the moment he was appointed. While he traveled first to Jordan, he too is bound for where else but Qatar.
Many defectors are Sunni and no doubt defect because they cannot stand Assad's brutal crackdown on their Sunni brethren. Others may be abandoning what they think is a sinking ship. However others may be enticed to retire from their jobs because Qatar offers them a golden parachute if they retire!