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More Turkish troops arrive in embattled Qatar

Photo: AA

A sixth group of Turkish military arrived Wednesday in Qatar to begin training exercises with local forces as part of an Ankara-Doha deal, according to a Turkish national defense ministry source.

A total of 28 artillerymen in Doha early on Wednesday, the source told Anadolu Agency.

The first Turkish-Qatari military exercise took place on June 19 at Qatar’s Tariq bin Ziyad military camp.

The joint exercises came only days after Turkey’s parliament ratified two military cooperation agreements allowing the deployment of troops to Qatar to train the country’s gendarmerie forces.

Such agreements are intended to improve the defense capabilities of Qatar’s armed forces, support the country’s efforts to combat terrorism, and contribute to regional and global security.

These latest Turkish troop deployments come against the backdrop of a weeks-long embargo imposed on Qatar by a handful of other Arab states.

On June 5, five Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen — abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Mauritania followed suit shortly afterward, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic representation in Doha.

Saudi Arabia has also closed its land border with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.

Doha strenuously denies accusations it supports terrorism, describing the attempts to isolate it as “unjustified”.

Turkey, meanwhile, a longtime ally of Qatar, has since rushed to the aid of Doha, dispatching vast amounts of humanitarian aid — in addition to troops — to the beleaguered country.

By Anadolu Agency