First batch of Turkish troops arrive in Doha

Turkish Armed Forces/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The first wave of soldiers from Turkey have arrived in Qatar and participated in joint exercises with local troops yesterday, the Ministry of Defense said.

According to QNA, the practices took place at the Tariq bin Ziyad battalion camp in Doha.

Turkey and Qatar had previously signed a joint defense agreement, and Turkish authorities have been in the process of setting up a military base in the Gulf country.

QNA

Emir Sheikh Tamim with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

However, the recent Gulf crisis spurred Turkey’s government to approve sending troops to Qatar forthwith.

The country has also been shipping dairy and poultry products to Doha, to make up for the halt in Saudi Arabian imports .

And Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has expressed support for Qatar, urging a swift end to the political dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, among others.

US exercises

Meanwhile, Qatar has also been conducting joint exercises with the US Navy.

Two vessels arrived in Doha last week, on the same day that Qatar signed a $12 billion agreement to purchase F-15 fighter jets from American company Boeing.

The exercises convey US support for Qatar amid the Gulf dispute. However, Washington has been sending mixed messages.

US President Donald Trump has criticized Qatar for supporting terrorist groups, while the Pentagon has thanked the Gulf country for its efforts to combat extremism.

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