Turkey's Erdogan approves troop deployment to Qatar

Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates joined the Saudis earlier this week in cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar, accusing it of backing groups from al-Qaida and Hamas to the Muslim Brotherhood that threaten the region's other governments.

USA officials were blindsided by Saudi Arabia's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar in a coordinated move with Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, current and former officials in Washington told Reuters.

"Qatar's practices of dealing with the ( Houthi ) coup militias and supporting extremist groups became clear", Al- Arabiya quoted the government as saying in a statement.

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, as the dispute between Gulf powers and Qatar escalates. But Trump said that he, Tillerson and military leaders had decided during Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia last month that a public rebuke was needed.

As many as 59 individuals and 12 organisations - either Qatar based or funded by Qatar - on a error list, a joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE has said. He said families were being separated, children removed from school and Qataris forced to deal with food shortages.

- Iran's oil minister says Qatar's regional isolation will not affect Tehran's plans to develop its vast South Pars offshore gas field that it shares with the Arab Gulf country, Iranian state TV reported.

Qatar is home to the al-Udeid military base, the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, which houses U.S. Central Command.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said earlier Friday that supplies are "getting into the base just fine", though supplies have had to enter the facility by air.

Qatar has denounced the allegations of terror funding as baseless and has received the support of its close ally Turkey, which has approved the deployment of troops to defend the emirate.

"Our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and put forth a good faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other", Tillerson said in a brief statement to reporters. The Qatari Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

And it should cut ties with Iran and stop using the controversial al-Jazeera television station to host radical Islamist preachers such as Muslim Brotherhood leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, who regularly appears on the channel to justify the use of suicide bombs.

"Qatar has a history of supporting groups that span the spectrum of political expression, from activism to violence", Tillerson said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also spoken to Qatar's emir over the crisis.

Conclusions: A Pyrrhic Return to US Influence in the Region?

Qatar called for "dialogue and diplomacy".

  • Zachary Reyes