All the terror-supporting leaders are coming out from the shadows and taking sides ..
Turkey on Wednesday threw its weight behind its ally Qatar, fast-tracking plans to deploy extra Turkish troops to the emirate as Arab rivals cut transport links and supply lines.
The move potentially puts Ankara on collision course with Riyadh as tensions flare over Saudi-led attempts to isolate Qatar in protest at its alleged support for extremist groups in the Middle East and its softer approach to Iran.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that it was wrong to impose sanctions on Doha. “It will not contribute to solving any problem to try and isolate in this way Qatar, which we know for sure has fought very effectively against terrorist groups,” he said.
Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday night adopted a law to allow Turkish troops to be stationed on Qatari soil.
Turkish officials were eager to stress that the country wanted to be seen as neutral in the dispute. “We feel Qatar and Saudi Arabia are very close friends and we do not want to differentiate between them and take sides,” said a senior Turkish official. He added, however, that Turkey “will not allow Qatar to be beaten up”.
The show-down with Qatar has created what is arguably the most serious crisis between Gulf nations since since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The animosity between Saudi Arabia and Iran that partly lies behind it intensified on Wednesday when Iranian hardliners blamed Riyadh for a twin terror attack in Tehran that killed 12 people.
After initially lending his backing to Saudi Arabia’s clampdown on Qatar, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Qatar’s emir Tamim bin Hamad to urge a negotiated solution among Gulf countrie. Mr Trump offered “to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary”.