Saturday, 10 June 2017

Trump's message on Qatar contadicts the Pentagon

Trump Says Qatar Funding Terror 'On Very High Level' After Tillerson, Pentagon Call on Gulf States to Ease Blockade
Trump accuses Comey of lying during Senate committee hearing, insists testimony vindicates him

9 June, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called on Qatar to stop funding of groups that commit terrorism, saying the Gulf nation had historically done so "at a very high level." 

"No civilized nation can tolerate this violence or allow this wicked ideology to spread on its shores," Trump told reporters at the White House, where he was holding a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. An hour earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Pentagon urged the Gulf states to ease the blockade on Qatar.

Trump also accused former FBI chief James Comey of lying under oath during his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday. He inisted that the testimoney showed that he had not attempted to obstruct justice in conversations the two officials held. 

"Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction," Trump said. "He's a leaker but we want to get back to running our great country," Trump said of Comey. 

That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election they shouldn’t have lost,” he said. “It was just an excuse, but we were very, very happy, and frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things that he said just weren’t true.”

He further denied telling Comey he hoped the FBI chief could let go of an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, adding he was willing to give his version of events under oath. 

"I didn't say that," Trump told reporters when asked about Comey's account relating to the investigation into Flynn. Asked if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath, Trump replied: "100 percent." 

Just an hour before Trump slammed Qatar, Secretary of State Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to ease their blockade against Qatar, saying it was causing unintended humanitarian consequences and affecting the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with the small Gulf Arab state on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran, charges Qatar calls baseless. 

"We call on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar," Tillerson said in a brief statement to reporters. Tillerson said the blockade was causing food shortages, the forced separation of families and children being pulled out of school. 

"We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during the holy month of Ramadan," he said. 

"Our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and put forth a good faith effort to resolve their grievances they have with each other," Tillerson said. 

The blockade is also hindering U.S. military action in the region and its campaign against Islamic State, he said. More than 11,000 U.S. and coalition forces are at al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, from which more than 100 aircraft operate. 

At the same time, Tillerson said Qatar has a history of supporting groups across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence, and that the emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for terrorism but that he must do more.

Shortly after Tillerson's remarks, the Pentagon said that while the Qatar blockade was not affecting current operations against ISIS, it was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations.

Donald Trump’s decision to back Saudi Arabia’s attempt to isolate Qatar on the world stage is already backfiring in a number of ways.

In the first instance, it was clearly not supposed to be official U.S. policy to explicitly support Saudi Arabia against Qatar considering Qatar hosts America’s largest base in the Middle East. Qatar has also invested billions of dollars in the United States. Unsurprisingly, it has been speculated that Trump was not even aware of these major factors.

What this reveals is that the United States has, in many respects, become a client state of Saudi Arabia. If you don’t believe this statement, consider that in handling the political fallout of his much-publicized tweet — in which he appeared to take credit for the Saudi-Qatar fallout and labeled Qatar a sponsor of terrorism — Trump gave the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, a phone call on Wednesday to offer “to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary.”

Erdogan ratifies Turkish troop deployment to Qatar

Up to 5,000 Turkish soldiers might be deployed to Qatar under the new legislation, Rudaw news reports, adding that the troops are now on standby and ready for their deployment.

Turkey’s cooperation with Qatar comes as several countries and organizations – including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, the Maldives, and one of Libya’s three rival governments – cut ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of financing terrorist groups ranging from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) to Iran-backed militants.

Erdogan almost immediately voiced support for Doha, saying on Tuesday that “we don’t find sanctions against Qatar right,” as quoted by Bloomberg.

Replying to  
Up to 5,000 Turkish soldiers can be deployed to according to legislation approved by 's parliament.

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