Qatar to buy 36 F-15 warplanes from the US amid Gulf row
Qatar and the United States will sign a deal for the purchase of 36 F-15 jets by the Gulf nation, Bloomberg said in a piece published late Wednesday, citing sources with 'knowledge of the accord.'
The website also claimed that the Qatari defense minister will meet his U.S. counterpart Jim Mattis on Wednesday to seal the agreement.
This deal may signal that the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Pentagon are at loggerheads, as the latter praised Qatar's contributions to anti-terror fight while Trump accused it of supporting militant groups. If the Pentagon boss Mattis strikes the deal with the gas-rich country, the move is likely to anger U.S.' traditional ally Saudi Arabia.
Effective June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar amid accusations that the Gulf nation is funding militant groups. Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar. In addition, the countries also issued a list of 59 individuals and 12 charity groups in Qatar accused of having links to terrorism.
The dispute came two weeks after the website of Qatar's official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements attributed to the country's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Qatar, for its part, has vehemently denied the accusations, describing the moves to diplomatically isolate the country as "unjustified." Qatar vowed last Thursday to ride out the circumstances of isolation, saying it would not compromise its sovereignty over foreign policy to resolve the region's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.