The first batch of Turkish troops have arrived in Qatar for a ‘long-planned’ Turkish-Qatari military drill, local media reported citing a Qatari Defense Ministry statement. The move comes amid tensions between Doha and its Arab neighbors.
The group has held their first training at Tariq bin Ziyad military base on Sunday, the Qatari Defense Ministry said according to Al Jazeera and the Gulf Times.
However, Reuters reported that the Turkish troops taking part in the drills are not newly-arrived, as “no new Turkish military unit had been sent to Qatar” according to its unnamed military sources. The news agency added that Tariq bin Ziyad military base currently houses about 90 Turkish soldiers.
The drills come after on June 9 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ratified deals on deploying Turkish troops in Qatar and training the Gulf nation’s gendarmerie. Turkey’s parliament had approved both deals on June 7.
“Turkish troops are coming to Qatar for the sake of the securıty of the entire region,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the press on Thursday, as cited by Turkish media.