On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt suddenly cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar and closed their borders to it. The reason stated for this decision was Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood movement as well as Qatar’s friendly relations with the Iranian government. Donald Trump subsequently sent out a tweet in which he took credit for this move: “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the king and 50 countries already paying off.”
Turkey immediately announced its support for Qatar and accelerated legislation to send more troops to its military base in that country. It also called on Saudi Arabia to end this crisis. The Iranian government announced that its air space and land borders were open to Qatar in order to prevent a blockade against it. Subsequently, on June 11, 2017, the Iranian navy sent two battleships to the coast of Oman.
Analysts spoke of the possibility that the current proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia would turn into a direct war. One Republican analyst, Ross Douthat, compared the situation in the Middle East to Europe on the verge of World War I.