Wealthy Gulf states, other nearby nations, respond to Syrian refugees

(The Christian Science Monitor) Wealthy Arab Gulf states have come under increasing scrutiny for their perceived reluctance to open their borders to those fleeing Syria.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been examined in particular, as they have supported combatants in the Syrian conflict, now in its fifth year, backing several predominantly Sunni Syrian rebel groups that oppose President Bashar al-Assad.

But Arab Gulf states are repudiating the criticism, saying they have pumped more than $4 billion into Syrian refugee support since 2011. They say they have taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrians as visitors, guest workers, and pilgrims—allowing them to overstay their visas and seek unofficial refuge in their countries.