Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, showcasing their strategic alliance two months into a boycott by Arab neighbours.

The manoeuvres are aimed at preparing Qatar's armed forces to defend "vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities," Qatari media reported.
The manoeuvres are aimed at preparing Qatar's armed forces to defend "vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities," Qatari media reported.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several other Sunni-majority countries have severed relations with Qatar since June 5, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism based on its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Taliban.

Another point of departure is Qatar's ties with Iran, with whom it shares one of the world's biggest gas fields.

Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified." Kuwait, Turkey and the US have all urged a political solution as the bloc isolates Qatar using various ad hoc sanctions, including shutting down their airspace to Qataris and blocking import routes.

The dispute began in May when Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani was reported to have made statements on the state news agency supporting Iran. Doha said the statements were fabricated and disseminated via a hack.

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

Monday, August 7

Turkish troops hold exercises in Qatar

Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, showcasing their strategic alliance two months into a boycott by Arab neighbours.

The manoeuvres are aimed at preparing Qatar's armed forces to defend "vital economic, strategic and infrastructure facilities," state-owned newspaper Al Sharq reported.

Earlier in June, Ankara had rejected a call from the four Arab states to shut down its military base in Qatar, saying the base was a guarantor of regional security, and demands for its closure represented interference in its ties with Doha.

Turkey's parliament fast-tracked legislation on June 7 to allow hundreds of troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar, set up as part of an agreement signed in 2014, in a show of support for Qatar, which is also home to the biggest US air base in the region.

Ankara has said it will deploy 3,000 ground troops at the base to serve as a venue for joint training exercises and to support anti-terrorism efforts.

For more on earlier developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies