Showing posts with label Qatar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Qatar. Show all posts

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Erdogan's advisor: Turkiye needs full control over Syria's Aleppo to solve refugee issue

    Thursday, January 12, 2023   No comments

Erdogan’s desire to unload Syrian refugees and address the emerging autonomous Kurdish state along its border with Syria is forcing him to rush for a solution that would involve reconciliation with the Syrian government.

In the past few weeks alone, the Turkish leader sent out his defense minister and head of intelligence to meet their Syrian counterparts in Russia. Turkish leaders then announced plans to for the foreign ministers to meet soon to pave the way for a historical summit between Erdogan and Assad. All these changes are driven by Erdogan’s fear that economic hardships, volatile border with Syria, and large Syrian population in Turkey will limit his chances of winning another term and derail his party’s ambitions to keep a decisive plurality in the parliament.

However, given the role Erdogan played in supporting the Syrian armed factions who wanted, and still want, to overthrow the Syrian government, neither Assad is eager to meet him and many of his party leaders and advisors are unwilling to give up their dream of Syria controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. This split among Turkey’s Islamists is reminding observers of their ideology-driven campaign to fuel a war in Syria designed to overthrow the government no matter what the human and economic costs. Nothing more telling of this ideological and sectarian impulse than the chain of events that lead to the recent revelations that Turkey should aim to control Aleppo and use it to resettle Syrian refugees instead of rebuilding the Syrian-Turkish relations to what it was before the so-called Arab Spring.

Immediately after the announcement of the expected meeting between the Syrian and Turkish foreign ministers, Qatar’s Aljazeera publishes a long piece by an Islamist commentator and professor at Qatar university floating the idea of Turkey’s control over Aleppo and rejecting Turkish reconciliation with the Syrian government. The article was picked by a long time advisor the Erdogan and his party and he made the same point an interview with a Turkish outlet. Given how skeptical the Syrian government is from this about-face from Erdogan, it can easily use this statement to cancel the proposed meeting and reject Erdogan’s courting of Assad.

Aware of the problem, it was revealed that the Turkish foreign minister was very upset with the advisor’s statements and perhaps that is what forced the advisor to appear on Arab media outlets and explain that what he said was a personal opinion based on an article that he read in the media (a clear reference to aljazeera’s piece).

These events revisit the events and actors that promoted and benefited the so-called Arab Spring, including the role of the Qatari government and its media influencer, Aljazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafism, and Turkey who wanted to create a middle east to their liking that resulted in destroyed communities in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq and the displacement of millions of people—in addition to the nearly one million people killed in these countries as a result of the geopolitical ambitions of Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Here are the background stories for this event:



With the opposition accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of not being serious in dealing with the Syrian file and developing an urgent plan for reconciliation with Damascus to return Syrian refugees to their country, Yasin Aktay's proposal, Erdogan's advisor, came to confirm the validity of doubts about the latter's intentions and accounts for Syria.

 

Aktay, who was a very close friend of the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, said, "To ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, the city of Aleppo must be placed under Turkish administration for a transitional period."

 

Aktay pointed out, in his interview with the pro-President Erdogan channel, "Olca", to "the importance of dialogue between Turkey and the Syrian regime." But thanks to the Iranian and Russian support, the Assad regime was able to control it, after carrying out very large massacres. And had it not been for Turkey's intervention at the time, the regime would have carried out bloody massacres greater than it."

 

He added, "Therefore, Turkey must have a role in achieving security in the city and its environs, so that we can return one and a half million, or even two million, refugees to the city voluntarily, which will not be achieved unless a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis is reached with the participation of the people." Syrian".

 

Aktay's speech aroused the interest of the media and social networks, which said that he revealed the true intentions of President Erdogan by inviting President Putin to bring him together with President Assad after the recent meeting of the Syrian and Turkish defense ministers in Moscow, in the presence of the Russian defense minister.

 

Some saw his words as a message from Ankara to the Syrian opposition with all its factions, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, after the information that talked about Ankara's efforts to convince it of the feasibility of a possible reconciliation with Damascus, which is what this opposition started after meeting its leaders, Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish. oglu last week.

 

Journalist Muhammad Ali Gullar recalled "the slogan raised by nationalist circles at the beginning of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, when they talked about annexing this region to Turkey, as it was part of the map of the National Pact of 1920, just as Aleppo declared the 82nd state of present-day Turkey."

 


It seems that Aktay's statements and the media's interaction with them will remain the talk of the Turkish street during the next stage, as long as the Syrian file, with all its main and subheadings, will be the semi-main topic of the upcoming election campaigns, after it became clear that this file, especially the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkey, will affect the decision of the Turkish voter when He will vote for President Erdogan or his potential rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

 

This explains why the security authorities raided a gathering center for Syrian refugees in a suburb of Istanbul, whom the Republican People's Party was preparing to deport to Syria with their consent, and the aforementioned authorities transferred them to an unknown location so that Kilicdaroglu would not meet them before they left Istanbul towards the Syrian border.

 

All this while betting on information that was reported a while ago about Syrian President Assad's hesitation in reconciliation with Erdogan before the upcoming elections, which may be in mid-May, at a time when Russian and Gulf pressures continue on the two sides to achieve this reconciliation as quickly as possible.

 Journalist Omar Odamish predicted, "The image that will gather Erdogan and President Assad will affect the psyche of the voter, as the Turkish president will tell him that reconciliation with Damascus is necessary to eliminate terrorism, by which he means the PKK and its Syrian arm, the People's Protection Units, without mentioning the Syrian opposition militants." They are terrorists for Damascus."

 Opposition circles ruled out that Erdogan would meet the Syrian demands, and said that this would be after the elections and not before, given that it would constitute a security crisis in northern Syria and the Turkish interior, especially if Ankara failed to convince Jabhat Tahrir al-Sham of the importance and necessity of this reconciliation, including the war together against the militias. Kurdish forces east of the Euphrates, in exchange for advantages and privileges that Turkey recognizes for HTS fighters and leaders, which the media has been talking about for some time about its heated dialogue with Washington.

 The information talks about Washington increasing its military support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units to face any upcoming war in the region and against the Syrian and Turkish armies in the event of a joint reconciliation.

 President Erdogan seeks to justify this reconciliation to his followers and supporters by talking about the need to eliminate terrorism in Turkey and northern Syria, by which he means the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian arm, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which in turn entered the line of domestic politics in Turkey when it announced the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party , the political wing of the PKK, the party's decision to participate in the upcoming elections with its own candidate, which puts the opposition "Nation Alliance" face to face with a new crisis in competition with Erdogan, who may prevail over the opposition candidate unless he has the support of the Kurds.

 

This account did not prevent the Supreme Constitutional Court from considering the issue of banning the activity of the Peoples’ Democratic Party before the end of this week, after it froze 3 days ago the aid provided by the treasury, according to the election law, which orders it to support the electoral campaigns of all political parties that have parliamentary blocs, i.e. on At least 20 seats.

 

All these complex data suggest the next stage in Turkish domestic politics, as long as it is affected by the future of the relationship with Damascus, for many surprises in terms of Turkish-Syrian relations, which will be under direct influence from Moscow, Tehran and the Gulf capitals represented by Abu Dhabi, which the Turkish media says is " It is ready to pay billions of dollars to the Syrian and Turkish sides in exchange for their agreement to the final reconciliation, according to its mood and the mood of its allies, who are many and contradictory.

 

Friday, December 02, 2022

Times: Banning alcohol gave women the chance to enjoy the World Cup without hassle

    Friday, December 02, 2022   No comments

There is no questions that explicit and implicit bias against Arabic and Islamic societies and their values systems were present during this FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar. In addition to the bigotry expressed by German politicians and players, mainstream western media focused on promoting their own rights agenda without respect for the laws and cultures of host nations. 

To put things in perspective, imagine yourself going to person who is hosting you in their home, and instead of enjoying their company and hospitality, you decide to protest, while in their home, the fact that they are running a dry home require you to take your shoes before you step in their living room. Yet, that is exactly how some Western leaders and players behaved while in Qatar.

However, it seems that if they listen to some members of their social groups, especially those historically marginalized, they might end up see some of the benefits of creating an inclusive space that is not built on propaganda and identity politics.


A report by the British newspaper The Times quoted testimonies of a group of English cheerleaders who accompanied their country's national team to Doha in order to encourage the "Three Lions", confirming that they were not subjected to any harassment, and they also considered that the decision of the Qatari authorities to prevent alcoholic beverages during the matches contributed to a certain extent. Great in that, and they described the Qatar World Cup stadiums as more suitable for women to watch the matches compared to what is happening in their country.

Between truth and deception

British young woman Ellie Moloson, 19, is leading a wide campaign in her country, calling her the slogan "It's her game too" in order to make football stadiums more welcoming to women, because of the harassment they are exposed to during matches, and before she came to Qatar to support her country's national team, she felt a lot. She was so worried that she asked her father to accompany her to Doha for their protection.


However, Moloson admitted in a statement to the British newspaper that she discovered that she "did not need to disturb her father, because the World Cup stadiums in Qatar are different from what they are in her country."


"I must say that coming here was a real shock for me," she said in the report prepared by journalist Davey Brown.


The report considered that the Qatar stadiums provided a more suitable atmosphere for women than those in England, and the young Moloson - a student from Nottingham - admitted that she also had preconceived notions before going to Qatar, "but the reality was nothing like this, I did not suffer from any One of the inconveniences I experienced in England," she said, adding, "I don't know how they achieved it, but it's a great environment to experience."


For his part, Moloson's 49-year-old father, who works as a teacher, explained that he came to Qatar with the aim of taking care of his daughter, but he admitted that he discovered that he did not need to do so because of what he discovered in her.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Qatari Minister to the West: LGBT people can visit our country but don't try to change our beliefs

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022   No comments

The Minister of State for Energy Affairs in Qatar, Saad Al-Kaabi, told the German newspaper “Bild” that members of the LGBT community can go to Qatar to watch the World Cup soccer matches, but the West cannot “dictate” to Qataris what they should believe.

Relations between Qatar and Germany have been troubled recently.

The German Minister of the Interior, Nancy Weser, put the “One Love” badge that supports gays in the match that her country played against Japan last week, and criticized the human rights record in Qatar, but this week Germany concluded a deal to import liquefied natural gas from

In his statements, which were published by the German newspaper "Bild" today, the Qatari minister said about the LGBT community: "If they want to visit Qatar, we have no problem with that."


But he said the West wants to "dictate what it wants" to Qatar, which considers same-sex relations illegal.


He added, "If you want to change me so that I say that I believe in the LGBT community and that my family should be gay and that I accept homosexuality in my country and change my laws and Islamic teachings in order to please the West, then this is unacceptable."


Saturday, November 19, 2022

"Just Hypocrisy": FIFA President Gianni Infantino On World Cup Critics

    Saturday, November 19, 2022   No comments

 FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit back at criticism of Qatar's human rights record on Saturday, blasting the "hypocrisy" of Western critics on the eve of the World Cup kick-off.


“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3000 years before starting to give moral lessons.”

Infantino also addressed questions around the last-minute decision to ban alcohol from being sold at the eight stadiums which will host the tournament’s 64 matches. In a FIFA statement issued on Friday, the governing body said alcohol would be sold at fan zones and licensed venues.

The Muslim country is considered to be very conservative and tightly regulates alcohol sales and usage.

“Let me first assure you that every decision that is taken in this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA,” he said. “Every decision is discussed, debated and taken jointly.”


“There will be […] over 200 places where you can buy alcohol in Qatar and over 10 fan zones, where over 100,000 people can simultaneously drink alcohol.


“I think personally, if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.”

“Especially because actually the same rules apply in France or in Spain or in Portugal or in Scotland, where no beer is allowed in stadiums now,” he added.


“It seems to become a big thing because it’s a Muslim country, or I don’t know why.”



Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Soccer, Religion, Culture, and Politics: Qatar may live to Regret hosting the Global Event

    Tuesday, October 25, 2022   No comments

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, expressed his regret that his country is being subjected to an "unprecedented campaign" due to its hosting of the 2022 World Cup, whose matches will start in the emirate in less than a month.

In a speech he delivered at the opening of the Shura Council, Tamim said: "Since we won the honor of hosting the World Cup, Qatar has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has faced."



He added, "We initially dealt with the matter in good faith, and even considered that some criticism is positive and useful that helps us develop aspects of ours that need to be developed."


Sheikh Tamim also expressed his regret, because “it soon became clear to us that the campaign continues and expands and includes slander and double standards, until it reached such a ferocity that many wondered, unfortunately, about the real reasons and motives behind this campaign.”


And while the Emir of Qatar considered that “criticism is useful only if it is based on correct information and an understanding of the contexts,” he stressed that “hosting the World Cup combines several elements and challenges, including civilizational and cultural openness.”


Sheikh Tamim stressed that his country’s hosting of the World Cup in football is “an occasion in which we show who we are, not only in terms of the strength of our economy and our institutions, but also in terms of our civilizational identity,” considering that “this is a great test for a country the size of Qatar, which impresses the whole world with its You have done it and you have done it.”


Emphasizing that "Qatar is currently more like a workshop in preparation and preparation for the occasion," Tamim recalled that it is the first time that an Arab country will host such an occasion, saying: "We have accepted this challenge (...) in recognition of the importance of hosting a major event such as the World Cup. in the Arab world".


He added, "This is a tournament for everyone, and its success is everyone's success."


With the approaching date of the most expensive World Cup ever, Qatar finds itself facing a growing torrent of criticism and attacks, due to various issues, ranging from the emirate's hot climate and conservative society, to its record in the field of human rights and freedoms.


The Qatari authorities have made unremitting efforts to refute the accusations leveled against them, noting in particular that they have carried out in recent years reforms to their laws, while the President of the "International Football Association" (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, confirmed that this version of the World Cup would be "the best ever".

  

Thursday, October 06, 2022

“OPEC +” agrees to reduce oil production by an average of two million barrels per day

    Thursday, October 06, 2022   No comments

 Reuters quoted sources in Vienna as confirming that the "OPEC +" group agreed today to reduce oil production by two million barrels per day.


The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of the Global Oil Exporters Alliance "OPEC +", which includes ministers of prominent producing countries, agreed to reduce crude production by two million barrels per day in response to the decline in prices.


This came according to what was quoted by "Reuters" agency, quoting 3 sources familiar with the events, and as expected by media reports earlier, and in a move believed to destroy the efforts of the United States to increase supplies and reduce prices.

A disaster for the United States and will cause crises

On Tuesday, CNN reported, quoting a White House document, that "the United States is concerned that a possible decision by "OPEC" to reduce oil production may cause major crises for the country, and can be considered a hostile act."



And a report by the American network stated that the White House “warns that the “OPEC +” meeting may cause great damage to the United States, and that the decision to reduce oil production will be a “complete disaster” for the country.


The United States, in an attempt to persuade its OPEC allies, is proposing to buy back up to 200 million barrels of oil from its OPEC partners, which will be used to refill the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which President Joe Biden uses to help lower oil prices.


This is while another US official stated, according to "CNN", that the White House "is in a state of panic and panic."


"We have made clear that energy supplies must meet demand to support economic growth and lower prices for consumers around the world, and we will continue to talk to our partners about that," National Security Council spokeswoman Adrian Watson said in a statement.


A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting participants in the upcoming “OPEC +” meeting, that the coalition countries were “considering reducing oil production by more than one million barrels per day.”


Action to Prevent fluctuations


Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC Plus, which includes OPEC countries and non-OPEC producers including Russia, say they are seeking to prevent volatility and not target a specific oil price.


Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose today, Wednesday, towards $93 a barrel, after rising yesterday.


The West accuses Russia of using energy as a weapon, and of creating a crisis in Europe that may force it to ration gas and electricity this winter.


In contrast, Moscow accuses the West of using the dollar and financial systems - such as Swift - as a weapon in response to Russia sending troops to Ukraine last February.

Reactions

US President Joe Biden expressed his disappointment over the decision of the OPEC Plus alliance to reduce oil production, and stressed that his administration would seek to reduce the alliance's control over energy prices, according to a statement issued by the White House.

The statement described the OPEC Plus decision as "short-sighted", and said that the decision - which is the largest reduction in oil production since the Covid-19 pandemic - will harm countries that are "already reeling" under the weight of high oil prices in light of a global economy that in turn suffers from the "negative impact". Russia's attack on Ukraine, according to the statement.

The White House considered that the "wrong" decision was in Russia's own interest, and said, "It is clear that OPEC Plus is allied with Russia."

He added that "in light of today's decision, the Biden administration will consult with Congress on additional tools and mechanisms to reduce the control of the coalition of oil-producing countries on energy prices."

On the other hand, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak described the decision taken by the OPEC Plus alliance during its meeting in Vienna today, Wednesday, as "unprecedented", and attributed it to the need to achieve balance in the oil market.

Novak warned - in statements he made to state television - that the trend to impose a ceiling on the price of Russian oil - a step proposed by the European Union as part of new planned sanctions on Moscow - will have a detrimental effect on global markets.

Novak stressed that Russian companies will not send oil supplies to countries that adopt this ceiling.

On Thursday, the US administration seem to escalate its reaction to this event. The White House hinted that it would “re-evaluate the issue of Saudi Arabia’s trade preference with regard to arms sales and defense support,” following the decision of the “OPEC +” group to reduce the collective production limit.

The President of the US National Economic Council, Brian Dees, indicated today, Thursday, that "the administration of President Joe Biden is in the process of consulting with Congress on the issue of Saudi Arabia's commercial preference for arms sales and defense support."
In response to a question about whether Saudi Arabia deserves to obtain weapons and US defense support in light of the decision of the “OPEC +” group, Deiss said: “We will conduct an assessment and consult closely with Congress on a number of issues related to this matter.”
The member countries of the “OPEC +” alliance agreed, yesterday, Wednesday, to reduce the collective production limit by two million barrels per day, in what is considered the largest supply curb since the 2020 agreement, in the midst of the historic price collapse due to the Corona pandemic.
Following the producers' decision, US President Joe Biden expressed his disappointment with the "OPEC +" agreement, stressing the importance of global energy supplies in light of the war in Ukraine.
White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre said that the “OPEC +” decision to reduce oil production, which is likely to raise prices in Western countries, “shows that the alliance is biased towards Russia.”
And the American network “CNN” reported, earlier, quoting a document of the White House, that “the United States is concerned that a possible decision by “OPEC” to reduce oil production may cause major crises for the country, and it can be considered a “hostile act.”
And a report by the American network stated that the White House “warns that the “OPEC +” meeting may cause great damage to the United States, and that the decision to reduce oil production will be a “complete disaster” for the country.
Read also: The “OPEC +” decision to reduce production .. its political and economic impact on the Biden administration
In turn, the Saudi Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman, confirmed that the decision of the “OPEC +” group to reduce oil production by two million barrels per day “is not an aggressive move and does not aim to harm anyone.”
As for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, he announced that the decision of the “OPEC +” alliance to reduce oil production “is an unprecedented decision,” noting that the reason for taking such a decision “is the need to balance the market before winter.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Qatar, Iran sign aviation agreements; discuss the feasability of tunnel linking the two coutnries

    Tuesday, April 12, 2022   No comments

April 12: Qatar and Iran have signed a bilateral agreement for operations to link Doha Flight Information Region (which was established in accordance with ICAO resolution) with the FIR in Iran.

An agreement to increase the number of flights between Qatar and Iran was also signed, in the presence of Minister of Transport HE Jassim bin Saif bin Ahmed Al Sulaiti and Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Rostam Qassemi.

Besides, the meeting looked into all issues that would remove obstacles in a way that supports the promotion and facilitation of transport and trade between the ports of the two countries.

They also reviewed private investment opportunities in ports, in the presence of Al Sulaiti, and Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development.

Tehran and Doha to study the feasibility of the longest tunnel in the world

Iran is planning feasibility studies for what would be the longest tunnel in the world. If built, it would physically connect Iran to Qatar across the Persian Gulf.

The project would link the Iranian port of Bandar-e Deyr to an unspecified location in Qatar. The underwater tunnel would run for 190 km, with both road and railway sections, although the former is more difficult. Earlier this year, President Raisi visited Doha, his first visit to an Arab country, to sign four cooperation agreements, from energy to transport.  


     Possible location of the proposed tunnel linking Iran  and Qatar: 





Friday, March 18, 2022

On the anniversary of the outbreak of the events that led to his islation by Gulf States, President Assad of Syria visits the UAE

    Friday, March 18, 2022   No comments

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited UAE, where he met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Friday. 

The Emirates News Agency said that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi received the Syrian President, and discussed with him "brotherly relations, cooperation and joint coordination."

The agency added that the UAE Prime Minister affirmed his country's keenness to "discover new paths for constructive cooperation with Syria, and to monitor opportunities through which various aspects of cooperation can be pushed forward."

The agency indicated that Assad left the UAE after meeting with senior officials.

The UAE has been at the fore in the efforts of some Arab countries to normalize relations with Syria in recent times.

Al-Assad received in Damascus the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, last November, and this was the first visit of a high-ranking Gulf official since several Gulf countries cut diplomatic relations with the Syrian government following the outbreak of violence in Syria in 2011. The United States expressed its dissatisfaction with the visit.

Other Gulf States, especially, Qatar, is holding back normalization with the Syrian government given their initial support of the armed groups that wanted to overthrow the Syrian government. In 2012, Qatar hosted the Arab League Summit, its leader, Hamad, offered Syria's seat to an opposition figure, which they recognized as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Saudi Arabia, too, held the position that "Assad must go--peacefully or violently." 

It is not clear if UAE will try to mend relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia, though it is unlikely that it will advocate for the warming of relations between Qatar and Syria goven that UAE still has frosty relations with its neighbor.

















Saturday, June 17, 2017

Erdoğan wants Turkish military bases in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, condemns “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East

    Saturday, June 17, 2017   No comments
Turkey does not condone “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East although it does recognize its role and its cooperation in resolving problems in Iraq and Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“Is Syria a theater for Iran’s sectarian expansionism? Yes, it is. Is Iraq a theater also? Yes, it is. I regard this a Persian expansionism rather than a sectarian one. I should specifically say that I do not approve of this Persian expansionism,” Erdoğan said in an interview with Portugal’s RTP channel, according to Anadolu Agency on June 16.

Turkey has long criticized Iran for pursuing a sectarian-based policy in the Middle East although it continues to work with Tehran on a number of regional issues.


However, Erdoğan made clear that Turkey and Iran, along with Russia, are working together in Syria through the Astana process. He also underlined that the problems in Iraq could not be resolved without Iran and that excluding Iran from efforts to deal with the Syrian civil war would not serve anybody’s interest as the Syrian regime works with Iran.

Erdoğan repeated his calls to the United States and Saudi Arabia to join the Astana process, which recently produced a mechanism to monitor the ongoing cease-fire in Syria.


President slams US over military base

On the ongoing Raqqa operation that aims to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Erdoğan reiterated Ankara’s long-standing criticisms against the United States, which chose the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a partner even though Turkey regards the group as a terrorist organization.

“I understand that they do not regard it as a terror organization as they prefer to walk hand in hand in them and as they cooperate with them on Raqqa,” the president said, recalling that Turkey would take any action against the YPG in the event that its security is threatened.

A new military air strip is being built by the U.S. near Kobane in northern Syria which is currently under YPG control, Erdoğan said.

“Planes will land there in the future. [The YPG] will be settled there. Why are you doing all of this? Why you are entering these places?”


A plot against Qatar

Touching on the ongoing crisis in the Gulf, Erdoğan described the unfolding situation as a plot against Qatar and said he did not approve of what has happened to the country.

“I sense that there is a very serious plot against Qatar and it’s not true. Qatar is a country with an overwhelmingly Muslim population. Those who implement all of this against Qatar are also Muslim,” he said, adding that the problem should have been addressed with dialogue from the beginning.

“It’s my wish that Saudi Arabia will show its leadership and that this issue will be resolved before the Ramadan Feast.”


Military base in Saudi Arabia

Turkey’s military base in Qatar will serve the entire region’s stability and security, Erdoğan said, noting that his government had suggested to Saudi Arabia that it establish a base on Saudi soil as well, but Riyadh has yet to respond to Turkey’s call.

Turkey will augment the number of troops at the military base in Qatar, Erdoğan said.

source


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Trump’s Sword Dance Sets Off the War of the Wahhabis

    Thursday, June 15, 2017   No comments
Screenshot of a comment in a related story on DW.
by  Pepe Escobar

US President Donald Trump could not possibly have predicted the game-changing after-effects of his triumphal sword dance in Riyadh.

Or could he?

The fact is the House of Saud went amok, in a flash, going after Qatar and bombing from the inside that glorious Arab NATO project – call it NATOGCC — sworn with pomp over a glowing orb.


An excited Trump tweeted three times his approval for Riyadh going after Doha.


  
       Trump and NATOGCC had equaled Daesh and Iran as “terrorists”. The House of Saud went one up — and denounced Qatar for top terror financing, which equals Don Corleone hurling Mafioso accusations against Tony Soprano.
But then, in an unexpected plot twist, Daesh, handily, graphically, underlined the cosmic stupidity of the whole charade – staging, or at least claiming to stage a terror attack against the Parliament and the Imam Khomeini shrine in Tehran.

The current Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, now “guilty” for not blaming Iran as the root of all evils in the Arab peninsula, might even be following the steps of his own father, Hamad, who invented modern Qatar and deposed himself – under Saudi pressure – in favor of his son in 2013.

We can’t forget that Bandar bin Sultan, a.k.a. Bandar Bush, notorious former top assembler/weaponizer of jihadis, and frustrated “liberator of Syria”, had famously described Qatar in the past as “300 people and a TV station”.

So what is really going on in this noxious petrodollar swamp?

The Israel-UAE connection

Let’s cut to the chase and establish that this nasty inter-GCC cannibalization has nothing to do with the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

Among massive disinformation crossfire, a trail of evidence points to a concerted strategy elaborated by the Israeli lobby (via the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, founded, among others, by nefarious casino schemer Sheldon Adelson, and very close to Bibi Netanyahu); US neocon/Ziocon/neoliberalcon elements; and the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba.

Leaked emails have shown how Otaiba – widely idolized in the Beltway because of his “largesse” – and the neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies have discussed means of teaching Qatar a lesson for its support of Hamas, and overall non-confrontational policies towards Iran. Otaiba also happens to be close to Jared Kushner – which would explain Trump’s reaction to the anti-Qatar blitzkrieg.

Unlike Qatar, the House of Saud and the UAE are one step away from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel – the sine qua non condition imposed by Washington to insert Israel in an anti-Iran Arab NATO guided by Riyadh.

A previous row in 2014 offers additional background. Regional intel operatives confirm at the time there were military Emirati maneuvers not far from the Qatari border; London and Paris, for instance, knew all about it.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (Source: islamhere.org)

But the head of the House of Saud in charge at the time was the late King Abdullah, who was in fact an appeaser. The Head-Chopper-in-Chief now is Warrior Prince Mohamed bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, an arrogant twat who’s already, miserably, losing a war on Yemen — conducted with billions of dollars in US and UK weapons — that has provoked a horrific humanitarian crisis in the poorest nation in the region. It is MBS who ordered the Saudi demonization of Qatar.

Let me out of the terror train

The “terra terra terra” shorthand, for the House of Saud, applies mostly to the accusation of Qatar supporting Shi’ite protest movements in eastern Saudi Arabia. That’s ridiculous; Doha is not involved.

And then there’s the accusation of Qatar supporting Islamists. That’s exactly what powerful Saudi donors – many linked to the monarchy – do.

Doha does support, big time, the Muslim Brotherhood – which has not much to do with al-Qaeda and/or Daesh, and is hated with a vengeance by Riyadh and its puppet al-Sisi in Cairo, who survives on Saudi handouts. What powerful Qatari donors did (up to $3 billion) was support al-Qaeda in Syria, a.k.a. Jabhat al-Nusra, which vast US neocon/neoliberalcon sectors brand as “moderate rebels”.

The Saudis, meanwhile, supported their own jihadis in Syria – and elsewhere. WikiLeaks has unequivocally proved how “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”.

Apart from complex tribal rivalry issues, the key religious factor is that Qatar – unlike Saudi Arabia – is tolerant towards non-Salafis, or “revolutionary” Salafis like the Muslim Brotherhood, and does not try to globally export its version of Wahhabism. For all practical purposes, hardcore Saudi imams consider Qataris heretics. As if they’re almost as bad as “apostate” Shi’ites.

The schism has translated, in practice, into a proxy war in Libya for example. Doha supports Islamic militias in Misrata as well as those faithful to the “Mufti of Qatar” Sadiq al-Ghariani. The Emirates and Egypt support Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the chief of the self-styled Libya National Army (LNA).

It’s a gas, gas, gas
 

  
Saudi intel disinformation agents are spreading that

    “Turkey and Qatar are the last two states run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Most probably Qatar will experience a change of regime and exit being the bankroller on behalf of Britain to support all kind of chaos in the region, and that include playing from behind the scenes with Teheran.”

Utter diversionist nonsense. The plain fact is the House of Saud is absolutely desperate. Oil price remains low, around $50 a barrel. The monster Saudi IPO on Aramco is only 12 months away. The House of Saud needs to move the markets towards a higher oil price by any means necessary – ultimatums and threats of war included.

A non-ideological US intel source goes further, stressing how

    “Turkey, Iran and Russia are moving closer together. The question remains who will control the Gulf States and the oil price — which was being manipulated so far to destroy Russia. The deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia is really just a minor improvement.”

So no wonder obfuscation remains the norm – with narratives taking attention away from the House of Saud and placing it on Iran, and now also Qatar.

And then there’s the key Pipelineistan angle, mixed with how Qatar as a natural gas powerhouse is immensely annoying OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Qatar is the largest global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). That’s what has allowed it to shape a foreign policy completely independent from the House of Saud. Add to it that Qatar’s fabulous gas wealth yields from the massive offshore North Field, shared with Iran (who controls what it calls South Pars).

There’s been speculation, obviously unconfirmed by Tehran and Doha, that Iran and Qatar may have reached an agreement on sharing the rights for a gas pipeline from North Dome/South Pars to the eastern Mediterranean in Syria, as long as Doha stops supporting al-Nusra.

Were that to happen, it would signal the spectacular closure of one of the key motives for the Syrian tragedy. The Obama administration had fully approved a Qatar to Turkey – via Saudi Arabia and Syria – gas pipeline as a means of trying to undermine Gazprom. It took a lot of dead bodies and horrific destruction for Doha to realize Moscow would never allow it.

Thus Qatar’s strategic pivot towards Russia – materialized, for instance, via Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund investing $2.7 billion in Rosneft. This may be spelling out, in the medium term, a Qatar way more amenable to the Russia-Iran-Syria connection. Considering that Qatar hosts CENTCOM and is home to Al-‘Udayd, the largest US military base in the Middle East, that certainly does not go down very well at the Pentagon.

As far as the US game is concerned, it’s terminally naïve to believe Washington would not have provided a green light to its Saudi satrap to go after Doha.

Add to it Qatar opening the first yuan clearing center in the Middle East; that’s something that did not go down well with financial Masters of the Universe. In parallel, the much-lauded Trump $100 billion weapons deal announced in Riyadh may have been devised in exchange for the House of Saud delaying as long as possible Chinese oil payments in yuan that would bypass the petrodollar.

To weave conspiracy theories is an idle undertaking. “T.Rex” Tillerson, from his ExxonMobil days, knows the Qatari leadership quite well. And so does “Mad Dog” Mattis, former head of CENTCOM. Watch them; how they act in the follow-up will unveil at least some layers of the current shadow play – and whether the whole charade packs way more punch than mere House of Saud desperation.

 

______________________

Copyright © All rights reserved. Pepe Escobar, 2017. Originally published on Sputnik.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saudi Media publish photos of Erdogan with Hikmatyar from 1985; Is Turkey going to be punished for standing with Qatar?

    Sunday, June 11, 2017   No comments
Saudi media released pictures, from 1985, showing now Turkish president, Erdogan, sitting before Afghani leading figure of the U.S.-sponsored rebels who fought against the USSR supported government in Afghanistan, Gulbiddin Hikmatyar. Alarabiya-English accompanied the image with a comment, suggesting that the image shows the link between Islamists and wars.

The photos and reports by Saudi media came just days after Turkish lawmakers and the president authorized the deployment of troops to Qatar. Source


Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia continued its campaign against Qatar. Alarabiya continued to broadcast reports about Qatari rulers and their connections to terrorist organizations.

 A sample of such reports is shown below:

   






   

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Turkish parliament approves bill to deploy troops in Qatar

    Wednesday, June 07, 2017   No comments
Turkey's parliament on June 7 approved a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

The move appears to support the Gulf Arab country as it faces diplomatic and trade isolation from some of the biggest Middle Eastern powers.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights on Monday, charging it with financing militant groups.

Qatar vehemently denies the accusations. It is the worst split between powerful Arab states in decades.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the Arab states' move, saying isolating Qatar and imposing sanctions will not resolve any problems and adding that Ankara will do everything in its power to help end the crisis.
source

Dissent is haram in Gulf Nations: Sympathizing with Qatar will cost people living in UAE up to 15 years in prison

    Wednesday, June 07, 2017   No comments
The United Arab Emirates tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar on Wednesday, threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy towards Doha with up to 15 years in prison and barring entry to Qataris.
...
The UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya reported the crackdown on expressions of sympathy with Qatar.

"Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form," Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying.

On top of a possible jail term, offenders could also be hit with a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), the newspaper said, citing a statement to Arabic-language media.

Slogans against and in support of Qatar have dominated Twitter in Arabic. Newspapers and television channels in the region have also been engaged in a war of words.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-qatar-idUSKBN18Y0DH

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trump's first trips abroad leave a trail of destruction among US allies: Qatar and Saudi Arabia crisis may cause GCC breakup

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017   No comments

Trump's first trips abroad leave a trail of destructions among US allies. The Gulf States are on the verge of collapse and the German leader is declaring that Europeans can no longer rely on the US. The rising tension between members of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is unprecedented however. 

For days, media outlets connected to UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have launched attacks against Qatar. Now it seems that Qatar has decided to dig in.
 
A cartoon recently posted on the Doha-based Al Jazeera’s Twitter feed set off a storm of condemnation by Saudi Twitter users, claiming one of the figures in the ‘insulting’ cartoon looked like the Saudi King Salman.

The cartoon was eventually removed by the network in an attempt to ease the tension between the two neighboring Arab states.

Relations between Qatar and the other GCC states were already fraught after the Qatar News Agency last week reported that the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had criticized the aggressive rhetoric aimed at Iran during the Riyadh Meetings on May 20-22.

Qatar’s government later declared that the news agency had been hacked, and the remarks attributed to the emir were false. However, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt blocked all Qatari media in reaction to the emir’s remarks.

The Qatari emir, however, did not try to ease the tension, and called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election. Sheikh Tamim also noted that there is no barrier to the expansion of Tehran-Doha relations.


Qatar is now launching it own media blitz accusing Saudi Arabia and UAE of hypocrisy and  weakness:

   




 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Media coverage: More evidence suggest that Aljazeera and the government of Qatar enabled war crimes in Syria

    Sunday, December 18, 2016   No comments
More evidence suggest that Aljazeera and the government of Qatar, and other states supporting the armed groups in Syria including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, enabled and Qatar promised to continue to enable war crimes in Syria.


With armed groups and their families being evacuated out of Aleppo, the process and aftermath reveal, with undeniable certainty, that these groups have committed war crimes in the city and the areas they control. The process also exposed the supporters of groups like the Idlib-based Fath al-Sham (aka Nusra, al-Qaeda affiliate), like Qatar and its mouthpiece Aljazeera. 


Aljazeera failed to report that Fath al-Sham burned buses that were supposed to evacuate the injured and civilians from Shia towns in Idlib endangering the lives of pro-rebel Sunni civilians still trapped in east Aleppo. This callous act, blocking the evacuation of civilians and injured individuals, prompted armed groups and civilians in Aleppo to appeal to “mujahideen to let civilian leave.”


Images out of east Aleppo also reveal that armed groups used mosques, including the historical one—Umayyad Mosque, as military bases. These acts, using civilians as human shields, preventing the evacuation civilians, the evacuation of the injured and sick, holding civilians as hostage, and the use of religious sites for military purposes, all are war crimes.

 
Armed groups used the mosque as military base.

 







 











   




     Aljazeera not reporting the fact that Nusra burned the buses to block the evacuation of civilians, injured, and sick individuals as part of a deal struck between Turkey and Russia.

     Aljazeera lack of coverage of the burning of the buses in Idlib, Syria.

 BBC coverage of the burning of the buses in Idlib, Syria.

Reuters coverage of the burning of the buses in Idlib, Syria.





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