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    Turkish soldiers stand in a Turkish army tank driving back to Turkey from the Syrian-Turkish border town of Jarabulus in the Turkish-Syrian border town of Karkamis

    Turkey Sending Soldiers to Qatar is 'Not Directed Against Saudi Arabia, US'

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    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)

    The Qatari diplomatic crisis that broke out this week urged the Turkish Parliament to send its soldiers to Qatar to ensure regional security, military analyst Resul Serdar Atash told Sputnik.

    According to Atash, the move is designed to prevent the escalation of the conflict and contribute to regional security.

    "Undoubtedly, the decision adopted by the Parliament yesterday is linked to the crisis in Qatar. The row has become a catalyst for the agreement, which had been discussed by the parliament for a long time. At the same time, yesterday's decision to deploy the Turkish contingent in Qatar is in no way directed against Saudi Arabia. It is only a step to support Qatar in order to contribute to security," the expert said.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
    © REUTERS / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace
    Atash also noted that the construction of a Turkish military base in Qatar has not yet been completed. Construction works are still underway, although the base is partially capable of accommodating the military.

    "When the base is completely ready, and this can happen by October 2018, the number of the Turkish contingent will reach about 3,000 people. The group will consist of both — the gendarmerie and the military. The decision only gives the right to deploy the contingent, but doesn't indicate the exact number of servicemen and their type. So we will get more detailed information when the base construction is over," Atash said.

    According to the analyst, the purpose of the deployment of the Turkish armed forces in Qatar is to both train local security forces and ensure local security. The expert does not believe that this could lead to any tensions between Turkey and the United States.

    "The Turkish contingent is sent to Qatar not in order to confront the US military. We are NATO allies and both armies do not threaten each other. The United States has a base in the Persian Gulf with 11,000 soldiers which were sent there at the request of the Qatari government in 2003. In 2014, a similar decision was made with regard to the Turkish military. If the United States opposed this decision, they would have repeatedly voiced their concerns over the past three years," the analyst said.

    He also added that Qatar is one of Turkey's most important partners in the region, and the decision made by the Turkish Parliament on military support of Qatar should be viewed from this position.

    On Wednesday, the Turkish Parliament approved draft legislation allowing for the deployment of Turkish troops to Turkey's military base established in Qatar in 2014 as part of a bilateral defense agreement. The deployment will be carried out in conformity with the 2015 agreement on cooperation between the two countries in the field of security and military training.

    On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting terrorist organizations and destabilizing the situation in the Middle East. They were later joined by Libya, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania, with Jordan and Djibouti announcing they would lower the level of diplomatic contacts with Qatar.

    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)


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