Bahrain Blames Qatar For Escalating Dispute In Military Terms

Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. (Photo: Reuters)

Bahrain has blamed its neighbor Qatar for escalating the dispute in the Gulf in military terms by inviting Turkish troops and armored vehicles into the tiny Gulf state.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said on Twitter on Monday that 4 Arab states tightened the noose around Qatar over diplomatic and security matters, never the military. Without mentioning Turkey, the foreign minister said bringing in foreign armies and their armored vehicles is the military escalation that Qatar has created.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt imposed an embargo on Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism. Last week, the countries issued an ultimatum, demanding that the oil- and gas-rich state cease cooperation with Iran, shut down its flagship Al Jazeera TV network and close a Turkish military base.

The ultimatum was designed to end Qatar’s decades-old interventionist foreign policy that supported Islamist groups across the Middle East, particularly during the Arab Spring, and its soft approach to Iran.

Turkey was the biggest backer of Qatar in the latest dispute, sending dozens of troops and armored vehicles to bolster its military base there. Ankara also sent at least 100 cargo planes of humanitarian aid to Qatar.

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