Qatar defends Turkey's northern Syria operation

Qatar defends Turkey's northern Syria operation

Qatar defended its close ally Turkey's operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, saying Ankara had acted against an "imminent threat".

"We can't put all the blame on Turkey," Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said at a Global Security Forum meeting in Doha, adding that Ankara had been forced to respond to an "imminent threat for Turkish security".

"In the beginning (Turkey) said 'don't support these groups'," Abdulrahman said, referring to Kurdish elements such as the People's Protection Units (YPG).

"Nobody listened. They have been trying to solve this issue now for more than a year with the United States, to create a safe zone to get the threat away from their border," the AFP cited him as saying.