Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Diplomatic Spat: Several Gulf States Cut Ties with Qatar for Allegedly ‘Supporting Terrorism’

The Middle East has descended into a huge diplomatic row. Four Gulf countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. While Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also closed their borders with the country. They accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states.

They all support terrorism. The guest points out that Qatar has links with Iran and Hezbollah while the Saudis are siding with the Israelis who are against both these groups. This is happening at the same time as both Qatar and Saudi Arabia support ISIS.

It was also mentioned that Qatar had been blamed for supporting the Houthis in Yemen where Saudi Arabia is failing badly. The Saudi Royal family might be reacting to ANY of the Al Jazeera reports about the fighting and decided to put some pressure on them. Previously in Egypt Al Jazeera journalists were arrested following the coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi because it was known that Qatar was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood (Morsi's party). The matter between Saudi Arabia and Qatar today might be an internal matter along these lines.

It's also unlikely this split will be anything other than a short term episode, since Al Jazeera and Qatar are valuable (Western/Neocon) assets in promoting conflict and war propaganda.

With Saudi Arabia close to Israel behind the scenes, another reason for this split emerges with this June 2nd headline: Qatar expresses reservation over Israel's UN candidacy


Robert Fisk on Lateline 09/09/2015:

TONY JONES: Now, you've been upbraiding journalists for being blinded by the mesmerising brutality of ISIS and failing to investigate who's actually behind them. Who are the main culprits in national terms, which nations?

ROBERT FISK: Well when I suggested that a lot of Saudi Arabians might be interested in funding them, my paper got a letter from the Saudi Government's solicitor saying that was untrue, so I'll start by telling you it couldn't be Saudi Arabia. However, I'd have to say that the Gulf nations are generally held, whether it be the nations themselves or whether it actually be citizens acting independently within those nations, the wealthy Gulf nations, particularly those who aspire to the Wahhabi-Salafist Sunni Muslim creed, appear to be funding them, along with of course the money that ISIS is itself making from oil and also from antiquities. The sale of antiquities shoots up every time they blow up a temple in Palmyra.

TONY JONES: You've also mentioned Turkey and in a recent article you talked about a convoy of weapons being taken across the Syrian border by Turkish intelligence agents. Is that a sign of Turkish complicity? Is it a real story?

ROBERT FISK: Well it's got to be. It's a real story. They were stopped by the police and there is videotape of this contretemps between the security forces of Turkey, the two security forces of Turkey arguing about these weapons being taken across. You've also got to remember that until very recently, there were Turkish troops guarding an Ottoman shrine inside ISIS territory and those troops were allowed to leave without any kind of problem from ISIS. Presumably there was a deal done. When I was in the northern Syrian city - a northern Syrian city - I'll keep it anonymous to save the lives of the people in it - I was told by Syrian oil workers there that when they talk to their colleagues in the ISIS zone, their colleagues say that they're being assisted by Turkish oil engineers. So there seems to be an awful lot of evidence that Turkey is in some way talking directly, if not actually helping, ISIS.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 7th, 2017.]

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