Qatar on Tuesday defended Turkey’s operation in northern Syria, saying Ankara can’t remain silent to threats from inside Syrian territory.
“Weapons and training provided to Kurdish groups during the war against Daesh [ISIS] represent an imminent threat to the Turkish security,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at the Global Security Forum meeting in Doha.
He said Turkish warnings against arming the Kurdish groups in Syria have gone unheard.
“We can’t heap the blame on Turkey as Ankara wants to clear its territory and stand up against terrorism,” he said. “Turkey can’t remain silent until terror hits its territory.”
The top Qatari diplomat pointed out that Turkey has tried for more than a year to resolve the issue with the U.S. and ends threats along border.
“The threats are coming from specific groups linked to the PKK, which is a classified terrorist group,” he said.
“Ankara’s sole goal is to eradicate the threat there and Turkey does not want to stay on Syrian territory in the future,” he said.
Turkey already has a base in Qatar with several thousand personnel stationed there and is growing its presence there. It can easily be surmised that the plethora of Turkish troops could act as a threat, or a buttress, in the event that Qatari elites would be disapproving of its policies, and if they needed suasion or replacement.