The Saudi Blockade of Qatar - can anyone explain what is going on?

Turkey's Erdogan says Arab demands on Qatar unlawful
Erdogan ramping up the rhetoric. Initially this is in support of the Qatar govt:
"We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands," Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul, said. "...This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country."
I believe that was somewhat tongue in cheek.

Apparently 100 cargo plane trips have been made including more men and AFVs:
"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," he said. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda."
Also offered a military base in Saudi Arabia:
"If Saudi Arabia wants us to have base there, a step towards this also can be taken," he told reporters. "I made this offer to the king himself and they said they will consider this."

"They did not come back to us since that day and even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey".
He's not been well though:
"I had a little condition about my blood pressure, related to my diabetes," he said
 
How is that in any way relevant to how the UK conducts itself? Are we supposed to behave as the PRC does or as we insist other countries do?
Took a while but we got there. It's as relevant as the way the UK conducts itself in respect of this thread about GCC/Qatari/Iranian relations.

Your snipe at your own country once again disregarded the facts, our press does report fairly openly and negatively about KSA. There were already existing reports from well before your post. In China, the press do as they're told and if any foreign press has too damaging content it's censored at the airport/point of import. Much the same as KSA. KSA has oodles of Chinese kit, as does Iran.

If you'd commented on this little gem in the same manner as you do on UK government I'd have been amazed TBH. Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland will seek more Chinese investment - BBC News
 
It's as relevant as the way the UK conducts itself in respect of this thread about GCC/Qatari/Iranian relations.
That would be the bit where certain countries issuing ultimatums to smaller neighbours gets labelled 'aggression' and attracts calls for sanctions and for 'something' to be done, yet for others... deafening silence.

If you are really, seriously trying to claim that the Saudi's treatment of Yemen and Qatar has been treated in any way the same as other aggressor nations, you'll get very few takers.
 
An interesting angle to the current Gulf dispute is the side effects on Gaza. 'We know that we are going to pay a price': Why the Qatar dispute threatens to cut off cash flow to Gaza

Qatar is a big donor to the Palestinian refugees in Gaza.
Qatar is by far the largest international backer of the Gaza Strip. The oil-rich emirate in the Persian Gulf has already spent millions of dollars for housing projects and upgrading roads. It has pledged a further $1.3 billion in assistance over the coming years.
The dispute between the Saudi-led anti-Qatar coalition and Qatar could cut off the cash that does much to sustain the economy of Gaza.
But a deepening diplomatic dispute in the Gulf region could threaten to cut off the cash that flows to Gaza.
As noted in the first quote, Qatar spends a lot of money on property development projects in Gaza, providing housing and jobs for large numbers of people.

Hamas runs Gaza, and has its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood. However, last month Hamas distanced themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood in an apparent attempt to appease Egypt.
Last month Hamas released a new policy document that does not mention the organization's roots in the Muslim Brotherhood movement. The move is seen as an effort to appeal to Egypt, which has cracked down on the Brotherhood in recent years.
This source (referenced in previous posts): Bonfire of vanities: Saudi demands expose fear and loathing of Qatar says that the ultimatum makes no mention of Hamas.
Notable for its absence is any demand regarding Hamas - the Palestinian group that Saudi Arabia and its allies have called "extremist" during the five weeks of diplomatic crisis.
Given the above, it's hard to say how all this will play out. It's worth noting however that the Qatar crisis could have influence well beyond the Gulf itself.
 
Bahrain has accused Qatar of escalating the situation militarily by allowing more Turkish troops to enter Qatar.
Bahrain accuses Qatar of military escalation in Gulf row
Bahrain's foreign minister accused Qatar on Monday of creating a military escalation in a dispute with regional powers, in an apparent reference to Doha's decision to let more Turkish troops enter its territory.
Bahrain says that allowing foreign troops to be based in the region is a bad thing, without mentioning Turkey specifically.
"The foundation of the dispute with Qatar is diplomatic and security-oriented, never military," Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said in a message on Twitter.

"Bringing in foreign armies and their armoured vehicles is the military escalation that Qatar has created," he added, without mentioning Turkey.
I'm not sure if Bahrain has noticed the very large numbers of American military personnel based in the region, including in Bahrain itself.
 
UAE envoy: Gulf states considering new Qatar sanctions

An interesting, short, report from Al Jazeera about a possible toughening of sanctions by forcing trading partners to trade with GCC states or Qatar, but not both.
Interesting that they (UAE) don't appear to understand the fungibility of trade goods. Or that most trade doesn't have an end-user certificate.

Luckily for the Qataris, the Iranians have decades of experience of running their way around almost-competent trade sanctions and blockades.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
It should also be pointed out that Trump's Tweets with respect to Qatar are considerably at variance with what is coming out of the rest of his government.

The main danger I think is not what the US might do, rather it's what Saudi Arabia might do under the impression that they have carte blanche from the US. This is why he needs to start thinking first and tweeting later.
I don't understand why everyone's making a big mystery out of the divergence between Trump and Tillerson.

Trump's egging on a restraining programme against a known funder of opponents to US interests while Tillerson is acutely aware of how invested the US is in Qatar, not least because he was the CEO of Exxon, which owns large chunks of LNG production capacity in the country plus other stuff.

Learn about ExxonMobil's operations in Qatar

Between them, they're covering both bases - pressure on Qatar and protection of US assets - very sensible in my view. They're probably using a version of the Nixon/Kissinger 'Madman' tactic.

There are plenty of precedents for this sort of behaviour - in Angola, revenues from Chevron's operations funded the MPLA Government while the CIA was backing Unita and the South Africans (Silent War - Peter Stiff). In Vietnam, Shell's operations were generally immune to attack because they were a major source of fuel for the NVA via the black market (Fuelling the War - Louis Wesseling).
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
We should be rather grateful to Qatar, for access to Al Udeid throughout the TELIC period (the airbase might have been a US one, but the airspace wasn't), because our transit to Basrah once the TriStars with DAS were retasked to HERRICK, would have made the campaign in Iraq much more difficult.

That dust filled marquee with its broken fridges, mock a/c system and the portaloos from hell, was the interim delight for every TELIC deployment from about 2005.

If Turkey stays put in Qatar (it appears to be signalling it will) and KSA does do something silly, which puts Turks in harms way, it raises the spectre of Article 5 being invoked with the US having little option, but to support a NATO ally.
I'm sure article 5 applies to attacks on the national territory of NATO members, not expeditionary operations designed to stir the pot.
 
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Even the UAE admits that the whole thing might backfire on them by pushing Qatar into the arms of Iran.
UAE ambassador threatens further sanctions against Qatar
Ghobash said he understood there was a risk that Qatar was being forced into a closer relationship with Iran. “We are asking Qatar to make a choice and we realise they may choose to take the route to Iran, and we are willing to accept the consequences of that.”
 
Interesting that they (UAE) don't appear to understand the fungibility of trade goods. Or that most trade doesn't have an end-user certificate.

Luckily for the Qataris, the Iranians have decades of experience of running their way around almost-competent trade sanctions and blockades.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are deluded if they think they can enforce an international trade embargo against Qatar. Most countries will simply pay no attention to it.

The main lever that the Saudis and UAE have now is that a lot of import trade passes through places like Dubai before being transshipped to local markets in Qatar. Qatar is fairly small, so it makes more sense to do it that way. However, there's nothing stopping Qatar from importing directly from Europe or China, or going through dealers in places like India. Qatar's exports won't be affected since shiploads of LNG go direct anyway.
 
This bit made me laugh


“We have nothing to hide ourselves so we are willing to meet the same standards we are asking Qatar. The west has traditionally complained of a lack of financial transparency in the region, and there must be a huge amount that the west can do to monitor what is happening.”
 
Without saying what the consequences are. That's the important / concerning aspect as can the GCC accept a worse case scenario (for them) of an Iran-orientated Qatar?
Worst case would likely be a Qatar that pulled out of the GCC and tried to stay uninvolved in any GCC-Iran argument. Saudi Arabia and the UAE would probably throw a tantrum if that were to happen. I would expect that Qatar would still welcome the US at its base there however.

Most likely scenario would be Qatar stayed in the GCC but kept Saudi Arabia and the UAE at arm's length. It's worth noting that Oman has been less than enamoured with the GCC as well and has more or less maintained neutrality with respect to Iran.
 
This is presently the top video on my Youtube front page (I don't subscribe to the channel or anything similar. Most of my subs are PC gaming or firearms related).
Clearly someone is chucking serious £ to buy the front page presence of anti-Qatari content.
I've written this before but a lot of this story feels like pre-conflict psychological prep.
Edit: I enjoyed the subtle 'The King of KSA is really cool and totally opposed to terror' ending. Who could be funding these videos? A mystery...
 
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This is presently the top video on my Youtube front page (I don't subscribe to the channel or anything similar. Most of my subs are PC gaming or firearms related).
Clearly someone is chucking serious £ to buy the front page presence of anti-Qatari content.
I've written this before but a lot of this story feels like pre-conflict psychological prep.
Edit: I enjoyed the subtle 'The King of KSA is really cool and totally opposed to terror' ending. Who could be funding these videos? A mystery...
The Youtube channel that video originates on is owned by something called "Mirage TV". There are a total of 5 videos at this time,
  • MIRAGE TV - Published on Jun 12, 2017 - 1,245 views
  • Qatar Funds Terror #Qatar_Funds_Terror - Published on Jun 12, 2017 - 331,547 views
  • QATAR FUNDS TERROR - Published on Jun 14, 2017 - 7,869 views
  • Qatar's men to support terrorism in SYRIA,LIBYA,AND IRAQ ‎⁦‪- Published on Jun 22, 2017 - 1,167 views
  • Qatar intelligence officer admits to sabotaging the UAE‬ - Published on Jun 22, 2017 - 2,660 views
The first is just a short channel intro, but someone put some time into some fairly professional looking CGI. That was published about 6 days after this thread started, so about 6 days after this starting hitting the news. The second one published on the same day is the one in your post. The follow up video was published a week later, and the next two a week after that.

Notice the view counts however. The one video which you said you saw promoted has almost all the views with the rest only derisory numbers. The channel also has only 74 followers. This suggests that there is no continuing audience for it.

I didn't watch the whole video, but there's a lot of scripting, editing, research, and collection of third party footage went into this. It's not something that was whipped up in someone's basement at short notice. This has the look of something put together by a PR agency, and possibly one they've been working on for a while. The fact that they had a channel intro and logo all ready to go with the first video strongly suggests that it wasn't a spur of the moment sort of thing.

So yes, I would agree that it's a propaganda piece.
 
The deadline for Qatar to "comply" with the ultimatum has been extended. Qatar crisis: Arab nations extend deadline
Arab nations extended a deadline early Monday for Qatar to respond to their list of demands in a diplomatic crisis roiling the Persian Gulf, saying Kuwait's emir requested the delay as part of his efforts to mediate the dispute. (...)

They issued a 13-point list of demands to end the standoff June 22 and gave the natural gas-rich country 10 days to comply.
The original deadline was to expire on Monday. This has now been extended a couple of days.
The joint statement early Monday by the Arab nations said they expected Qatar to respond to their demands on Monday. The new deadline would expire late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The Qatar defence minister stated in a television interview that the that the Saudi led coalition may be planning an invasion, but said that Qatar is prepared to defend themselves.
"Qatar is not an easy country to be swallowed by anyone. We are ready. We stand ready to defend our country. I hope that we don't come to a stage where, you know, a military intervention is made," Qatari Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah told Sky News.
The Qatar foreign minister has said that Qatar is not backing down and implied that the ultimatum will not be accepted.
Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, showed no signs of backing down in during a press briefing in Rome on Saturday, saying they were never meant to be accepted and that his country "is prepared to face whatever consequences."
It's hard to judge whether the tough talk is just talk, or if it represents their real position.

The Italians, Americans, and Russians have all stuck their noses in and told the two sides to take it easy.
While in Rome, Al Thani met with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who gave his backing to ongoing mediation efforts led by Kuwait. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also tried to resolve the dispute, with the U.S. last week urging Saudi Arabia and its allies to stay "open to negotiation" with Qatar.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has separately spoken with the leaders of Qatar and Bahrain, urging direct dialogue among all the states involved, according to statements released by the Kremlin on Saturday.
The Qatari population appear to be taking things more calmly now than when the ultimatum was first laid down.
Qatari supermarkets saw panic buying when the four countries initially cut ties. But the capital, Doha, was largely calm Sunday as residents waited to see how the crisis would play out.
Since the sky hasn't fallen so far, the Saudi-UAE bargaining position may be weakening, unless they are prepared to do something drastic. Since they've already cut off all trade and other contacts, sealed the border, and closed their air space, they don't have a lot of other things left they can use to increase the pressure short of war.
 

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