Turkey establishes 3000 military personnel base in Qatar!

A 3000 military personnel-base will be established by Turkey, in Qatar as part of a defence agreement aimed at helping them confront “common enemies,” Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar said on Dec. 16.

Establishment of the base, part of an agreement signed in 2014 and ratified by Turkey’s parliament in June, intensifies the partnership with Qatar at a time of rising instability and a perceived waning of U.S. interest in the region.

The two countries, both economic heavyweights, have provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and raised the alarm about creeping Iranian influence in the region.

Both have condemned Russia’s intervention on the side of Assad’s forces fighting in Syria.

The envoy, Ahmet Demirok, told Reuters that three thousand ground troops would be stationed at the base – Turkey’s first overseas military installation in the Middle East – as well as air and naval units, military trainers and special operations forces.

The “multi-purpose” base will primarily serve as a venue for joint training exercises and Qatar was also looking at setting up its own base in Turkey, he said in an interview.

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, Qatar is home to the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, Al Udeid, where around 10,000 military personnel are stationed, though U.S. interest in the region is perceived to be lessening.

“Today we are not building a new alliance but rather rediscovering historic and brotherly ties,” he said, referring to the Muslim Ottoman Empire which, before its collapse in 1920, stretched from eastern Europe to the Arab Gulf.

Saudi Arabia announced Dec. 15 the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published by the SPA state news agency, in a move welcomed by the United States.

The countries the agency listed included Turkey and Qatar along with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Pakistan and several African nations as well Gulf Arab states