At the following article from Stratfor, titled “Turkey: Qatar Breaks With Arab League, Backs Air Campaign”, August 2015, you can read that the Arab League condemned the Turkish air strikes against the PKK in North Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), but Qatar expressed its full support for Turkey.

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Kurdistan Iran TANAP

That makes sense, given that from the Arab countries, Qatar is Turkey’s closest ally. Qatar is a very small country but it is the richest country in the world in terms of per capita GDP (GDP/population). Qatar has plenty of liquidity to finance socialists in the European parliaments and Jihadists in the battlefields, but in absolute terms Qatar cannot compete in military terms with Saudi Arabia and Iran, because they are much bigger countries in absolute terms. Qatar shares with Iran the largest natural gas field in the world i.e. the South Pars/North Field, but at the same time it is surrounded geographically by Saudi Arabia, which is the only country that connects Qatar with the rest of the world by land.

Picture 2

Χάρτης Πετρελαίου και Φυσικού Αερίου της Μέσης Ανατολής

Therefore Qatar wants to have a balanced stance towards the two big rivals i.e. Saudi Arabia and Iran. But this is very difficult, and the two countries put pressure on Qatar to support their own foreign policy. In Libya and Egypt, Qatar fights on the side of Iran, and the same is true in Gaza, but in Iraq and Syria, Qatar fights on the side of Saudi Arabia, actually on Turkey’s side, but that’s against Iran, and in the Yemen war Qatar fights on the side of Saudi Arabia, since Turkey is not really present in Yemen. Actually it is not very accurate to say that Qatar fights on the side of Saudi Arabia in Syria and Iraq. It would be more accurate to say that it fights against Iran, or that it fights on the side of Turkey.

Qatar needs Turkey’s strong military presence as a shield against Saudi Arabia and Iran, and recently Turkish soldiers went to Qatar, 100 years after the withdrawal of the Turkish army from the Middle East, during the First World War. Therefore Qatar has accepted Tayip Erdogan as the Sultan of the Muslim World, something which is very difficult for the Saudis to do. Therefore the relations between the Saudis and the Turks are very problematic, and the Saudis are the main influence in the Arab League.

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Τουρκία Σαουδική Αραβία Ιράν

See also Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia

For the Stratfor article see

“Turkey: Qatar Breaks With Arab League, Backs Air Campaign”*|DATE:|*&utm_content=Daily+Intelligence+Brief%3A+Aug.+5%2C+2015

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