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Op-Ed: Qatar is only one state on the map of terrorism supporters

Kurdish journalist Chiman Salih stresses that it is important not to let the Qatar crisis distract the world from the other countries that support terrorism. She calls on the US to make sure that sanctions are imposed on the other states that back terrorist organizations.
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani (bottom L) Photo Credit: EPA

It's true that Qatar has played an outsize role in the regional and international funding of terrorism, especially over the past decade. However, it is not the only country on the global map of terrorism supporters.

Over the years, Qatar has financially supported several terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel has been the country’s weapon since its establishment. The news network has been attempting to reshape public opinion and politics not only in the Middle East but also around the world. In addition, it has been serving the agendas of a number of terrorist groups and countries that support global terrorism.

The previous US administration never spoke out against Qatar and that's why the small country’s neighbors couldn't sever their ties with Doha despite their desires. Recently, US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and met with the leaders of many Arab countries. During his visit, he denounced states that support terrorism, mainly Iran, giving Qatar’s neighbors the opportunity to make the move they had been dreaming of for some time.

In addition, it’s clear that Qatar provoked its neighbors by lifting the self-imposed ban regarding the development of the North Field, a huge natural gas field, which Qatar shares with Tehran. The ban was in place for over a decade but Doha recently decided that it will renew its activities there.

Now, Qatar is in a bad situation, especially if the US intends to implement a tougher position against Iran. Doha will remain an orphan in its current geographical spot. Even though Turkey has called for the blockade of Qatar to be lifted and the Turkish parliament has voted in favor of sending troops to the country, Ankara cannot do much due to the serious internal and international crises.

However, the world should not be distracted by the Qatar crisis. There are other states that take up room on the map of terrorism supporters and their true colors need to be revealed. I call on the US government, as the leader of the West, to show the world the rest of the countries on this map so that sanctions can be imposed on them.

JOL Blogger | Chiman Salih

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