Syria attacks Hamas leader as rift widens

Syria’s state-run media have criticized the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas – once a staunch ally of the Damascus regime – for allegedly turning his back on President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian TV in a late Monday broadcast described Hamas’ leader Khaled Meshal as “ungrateful and traitorous.”

Meshal used to be based in Damascus but now spends most of his time in Qatar, which backs Syrian rebels battling Assad’s troops.

Relations between Assad’s regime and Hamas have been disintegrating over since Syria’s uprising erupted over 18 months ago.

Hamas at first took a neutral stance, but then in February, the group praised Syrians for “moving toward democracy and reform.”

Most Hamas leaders have since left Syria to settle in Egypt, where their allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are in power.

Mursi, during a Tehran summit in August, condemned the Syrian regime and offered his support to the rebels.

Meshal and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met separately with Mursi in July. The meetings were hailed as a “turning point” in bilateral relations.

Meshal announced last month that he would not be seeking reelection as head the Hamas movement.

Source: Al-Akhbar