Turkey deploys more troops in Qatar amid Persian Gulf diplomatic crisis
A group of Turkish troops have been deployed to a military base in Qatar amid the diplomatic crisis between Doha and a Saudi-led quartet of Arab countries.
The Turkish troops arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in southern Doha on Tuesday, Turkey’s Daily Sabah cited Qatar’s Defense Ministry as saying.
The soldiers will join another group of Turkish troops, which were previously stationed in the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in Qatar.
The deployment is part of a 2014 defense deal between Turkey and Qatar for establishment of a Turkish military base in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
The first group of Turkish troops arrived in Qatar in June and staged their first drill at Tariq bin Ziyad military base.
Turkey has sided with Qatar since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Doha on June 5, accusing the kingdom of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region.
The four countries have also imposed a series of economic sanctions against Doha while barring Qatari aircraft from using their airspace. Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia has also been blocked as a result.
Qatar has rejected the claims while maintaining that it is paying the price for its independent foreign policy.
There has been almost no sign that Qatari authorities would bow to the demands of Saudi Arabia and its allies to restore diplomatic ties.
Among the conditions put forward for a full normalization of ties is the need for Qatar to downgrade its relations with Iran and expel foreign troops, including those from Turkey, from military bases in the country.