As the pressure from its neighbors starts to bite, Qatar is receiving support from two non-Arab partners, but the help from Iran and Turkey is likely to further antagonize its critics.
Iran and Turkey are sending planeloads of food supplies to Qatar, while Turkey has offered to do the same and fast-tracked legislation approving the deployment of Turkish troops in the small Gulf state for military training cooperation.
Qatar hosts a Turkish military base (as well as a far larger and key U.S. one – the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command at the Al Udeid Air Base).
Qatar denies the allegations of its Gulf neighbors, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt, Jordan and several other countries, that it supports Islamist extremists and Iran.
Those countries have cut diplomatic ties and air links, and Saudi Arabia has also closed off the peninsular nation’s only land border. They dispute, however, that the measures amount to a “siege” or “blockade,” as Qatar claims.
Iranian media outlets report that the national carrier, Iran Air, has flown in planeloads of vegetables, and that preparations are also underway to ship food across the Persian Gulf from Iranian ports.
Iran earlier opened its airspace to Qatari flights bound for Europe and North Africa, since Saudi Arabia., the UAE and Bahrain have closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft,.
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