Turkey is set to open a new military base near the existing joint command center in Qatar this fall and significantly expand its troop presence in the Gulf emirate, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News has reported.
According to the newspaper, the base is set to be situated not far from the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in southern Doha, where Turkey’s existing base containing about 3,000 troops is situated.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to join the Qatari Emir at the base’s grand opening later this year.
Turkish soldiers were first deployed to Qatar in October 2015, to boost bilateral relations. However, since Qatar’s Gulf neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, placed it under a blockade in June 2017, Turkey’s military presence has taken on greater significance.
Among the demands of the Saudi-led bloc was that Qatar end its military cooperation with Turkey and remove all Turkish troops from Qatar. Instead, Turkey sent more troops to Qatar that December, increasing its alignment with Qatar.
[Sources: Ahval News, Sputnik News]