Thursday, 15 June 2017

Qatar buys F-15 fighter planes in billion-dollar US deal

Qatar has signed a $12bn deal to buy F-15 fighters jets from the US.

The sale was finalised at a meeting in Washington between US defence chief Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart.

It comes days after US President Donald Trump accused Qatar - a major US ally - of funding terrorism "at a very high level" - a charge Qatar denies.

Other Gulf countries recently cut ties with Doha, accusing it of destabilising the region through its alleged support of extremist groups and links to Iran.

Qatar is home to the biggest US air base in the Middle East, Al-Udeid. It houses around 10,000 troops and plays a key role in the US-led operations against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Trump's comments appeared at odds with the US Department of Defence, which had praised Qatar's "enduring commitment to regional security" just days earlier.

Saudi Arabia, another key US ally, has led moves to isolate the gas-rich emirate since earlier this month. Riyadh sealed its border, closed its air space to Qatari Airways and - along with Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt - severed diplomatic relations.

BBC      News.