Saudi Arabia’s attack on Qatar unravels

Erdogan’s party – the Justice and Development Party – has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood of which Qatar is the financial patron.  Indeed it would not be wholly wrong to think of the Justice and Development Party as the Turkish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Given that the Saudi assault on Qatar is targeted as much at the Muslim Brotherhood as against Qatar itself, Erdogan has no realistic option but to side with Qatar in this quarrel or risk upsetting the activists of his own party.

Had Prince Mohammed bin Salman thought this all through carefully before he acted, he would have realised that US support for an attack on Qatar would not be forthcoming, and that Turkey was bound to side in any quarrel between Qatar and Saudi Arabia with Qatar.  Instead he seems to have thrown caution to the winds, with the result that he has managed to bring Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Kuwait all closer together.

Since Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s original objective – to the extent one can discern one – seems to have been to isolate Iran, an action which has instead resulted in Iran becoming de facto allied with Turkey, Qatar and Kuwait in a quarrel over Qatar in which Saudi Arabia does not have the unequivocal support of the US must be considered a failure.

As my colleague Adam Garrie correctly says, the US seems to have decided to take a backseat to Russia in this crisis.

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