Turkey thanks Qatar for supporting Syria invasion

Turkey's invasion of northern Syria has been widely condemned both by Arab countries and in the West. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 03 November 2019

Turkey thanks Qatar for supporting Syria invasion

  • Doha acted in defiance of the Arab League last month when it voiced support for the Turkish operation
  • Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu personally thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim for supporting the invasion

LONDON: Turkey on Sunday thanked Qatar for supporting a widely-condemned invasion of northern Syria.

Doha acted in defiance of the Arab League last month when it voiced support for the Turkish operation against Kurdish forces in north-east Syria.

Other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, condemned Turkey’s “aggression” as a threat to regional peace and security and a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

The operation, which came after Donald Trump withdrew US troops from the region, was also denounced by European countries and aid groups.

Qatar however defended Turkey, saying Operation Peace Spring was in response to an “imminent threat” from Kurdish groups. One of the few other voices of support came from the hardline Palestinian militant group Hamas.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu personally thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim for supporting the operation during a meeting in Doha. In a tweet he described Qatar as a “brotherly” nation and conveyed the greetings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

Turkey and Qatar have grown closer since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups and cooperation with Iran. Ankara boosted its military presence in Qatar and as Doha promised support for Turkey’s economy.

The Turkish operation was launched on Oct. 9 to push back from its border Kurdish fighters, who it considers terrorists for their links to decades of insurgency inside Turkey.

A truce deal signed last week between Ankara and Moscow demanded Kurdish fighters withdraw from the border, handing the Turks a 120 kilometer-long stretch of Syrian territory.

The deal includes joint Russian-Turkish patrols along other parts of the frontier that started on Friday.

 


3 Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces

Updated 10 min 32 sec ago

3 Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces

  • The security and hospital officials said on Thursday that one protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators from Ahrar Bridge

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials say three anti-government protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces overnight in Baghdad.

The security and hospital officials said on Thursday that one protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators from Ahrar Bridge.

The officials say the two other protesters were killed in clashes on the city’s Sinak Bridge, when security forces fired tear gas canisters to repel them.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Protesters have been occupying parts of Baghdad’s three main bridges — Sinak and Ahrar and Jumurhiya Bridg — leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.