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Published On: Thu, Jun 15th, 2017

US deploys 2 warships to Doha for joint drills with Qatari navy

Araweelo News Network

US Navy file photo released on April 21, 2015 shows the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (back) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy cooperating in the Arabian Sea. (Photos by AFP)

Doha(ANN)-Two US navy vessels have arrived in Doha to take part in joint military drills with the Qatari navy amid escalating tensions between Arab Persian Gulf states.

The US ships arrived at Hamad Port south of Doha “to participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy,” announced the Qatari News Agency (QNA) on Wednesday.

The news agency noted that the crews of the two ships were received by Qatari navy officers.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) broke off relations with Doha and suspended all land, air and sea traffic with the monarchy. In their apparent bid to secure US support and that of Israel, the four countries cited Qatar’s links with the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas and accused it of supporting terrorism. Qatar has denied the allegations, calling them unfounded.

It is not clear if the deployment was planned before the recent heightened tensions in the region, or whether it is a sign of support for Qatar from the US.

The US’ largest military base in the Middle East is located in Qatar with 11,000 troops assigned to the al-Udeid airbase which is the forward headquarters for the US military’s Central Command for airstrikes in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, The Emirati ambassador to the US called on Washington to consider the relocation of its airbase in Qatar and to pressure Doha over its alleged support for terrorism.

Qatar buys 36 F-15s from the US

Also on Wednesday, Qatar’s Ministry of Defense announced that the country had signed a deal to purchase 36 F-15 fighter jets from the US for $12 billion.

An AFP file photo of two US Air Force F-15 fighter jets

According to a source informed about the deal, US Defense Secretary James Mattis and several Qatar representatives were scheduled to meet on Wednesday for signing the deal for the warplanes.

The agreement was signed despite recent criticism by US President Donald Trump, who claimed Qatar supported terrorism.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: Info@araweelonews.com or jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 whatsapp.com/ + 252 63 442 5380 /https://twitter.com/Araweelonews/https://www.facebook.com/Araweelonews/

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