Qatar defended Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria, sticking up for an ally that’s helped the Gulf emirate weather the impact of a boycott by its neighbors.
Turkey’s military incursion isn’t expansionist because it faced an “imminent threat” from Kurdish groups on its Syrian border, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Doha.
The comments are Qatar’s first on Turkey’s controversial military operation to build what it called a “safe zone” within its neighbor and push back Kurdish groups at its southern border.
Turkey helped Qatar more than two years ago when Saudi Arabia and three of its allies cut diplomatic and commercial ties and severed its only land link. Turkey sent soldiers to Qatar and airlifted food and supplies in the immediate aftermath of the boycott. Qatar also pledged $15 billion to support Turkey’s economy.
The Kurds should use “proper political process” if they are seeking their own territory, Qatar’s foreign minister said.
The Trump administration on Monday called for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria and slapped sanctions on three senior Turkish officials.