Qatar Puts Military On Highest State Of Alert Over Fears Of Imminent Incursion

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Yesterday’s news that Saudi Arabia has issued an ultimatum to Qatar, listing ten demands among which that Qatar end all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, has prompted a dramatic response by the small Gulf nation, and according to a just released report by Arabic CNN (and confirmed locally) US officials have said they have observed increased Qatari military activity as the country placed its forces “on the highest state of alert” over fears of an imminent military incursion.

Qatar Puts Military On Highest State Of Alert Over Fears Of Imminent Incursion

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attends a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on December 6, 2016, in the Bahraini capital Manama. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

The sources add that the Qatari military has brought up 16 Leopard tanks out of storage in Doha in preparation for a potential military incursion by surrounding Gulf states. Furthermore, the Qatari Ministry of Defense reportedly also sent a letter to Saudi, UAE and Bahraini governments, saying they would fire on any naval ships from those countries that enter into its waters, a US official said. US officials have said the situation in Qatar has not affected US military operations and security in Qatar.

The escalation comes at the same time as president Donald Trump allegedly changed course on Qatar, a day after praising a move by other Gulf nations to sever diplomatic relations with Doha, which hosts a US military base crucial to the fight against ISIS. CNN reports that in a phone call with the Qatari Emir, Trump “extended an olive branch,” offering to help the parties resolve their differences by inviting them to a White House meeting if necessary.

In a description of the Wednesday call, the White House said Trump “emphasized the importance of all countries in the region working together to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology.”

Trump’s latest flip flop echoed that of his secretaries of Defense and State, who emphasized Tuesday the need for Gulf unity and the importance of the US partnership with Qatar, home to the Al Udeid Air Base, the main regional center for air missions against ISIS.

Separately, the WSJ validated yesterday‘s reports about a Saudi ultimatum, reporting late on Wednesday that leading Arab states are drawing up a list of demands that Qatar must meet to return to normal diplomatic and economic relations, including steps to significantly scale back the Al Jazeera media network. Oddly enough, there was no mention of “Russian hackers.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and their allies are also seeking guarantees that Qatar’s government will stop its alleged financing of Middle East extremist groups and sever relations with the political leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global Islamist movement, according to these officials.

Senior U.S. officials said Mr. Trump told the Arab monarchs he is prepared to mediate the dispute between the Arab states, some of whom host major American military installations. But the Trump administration stressed it needed a clear list of grievances to pass on to Qatar’s leadership, and that Washington wouldn’t necessarily endorse them.

These Arab and U.S. officials said this official list of demands is being compiled and could be completed in the coming days. Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, said in an interview on Wednesday that his government still didn’t know the specifics behind these Arab states’ decision to sever ties. He stressed that Doha is open to the Trump administration trying to mediate a diplomatic resolution.

“Until now, there have been no clear requests,” said Mr. Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family. “We are working toward de-escalation.” Saudi and Emirati officials have publicly accused Qatar of channeling funds to al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria and Yemen and providing a diplomatic safe-haven for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ambassador Al Thani denied Qatar knowingly has provided funding to any terrorist organizations. He said Doha is willing to take additional actions.

The reports come hours after Turkey, a government friendly to Qatar, approved a bill allowing expedited troop deployment to its base in Qatar. As reported earlier, the bill’s passage would allow Turkish troops to be deployed in Qatar and approve an accord between the two countries on military training cooperation.

* * *

As we reported last night, speaking to Al Jazeera, analyst Giorgio Cafiero of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC, said: “I think the Kuwaitis as well as Omanis … fear the prospects of these tensions escalating in ways which could undermine the interest of all six members of the GCC.

“There are many analysts who believe that a potential break-up of the GCC has to be considered right now. If these countries fail to resolve their issues and such tensions reaches new heights, we have to be very open to the possibility of these six Arab countries no longer being able to unite under the banner of one council,” said Cafiero.

He added that if tension escalates, there could be a “military confrontation”.

It is this contingency that Qatar is now preparing for.

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  • Turabe

    Interesting now we can closely watch the side effect of sponsoring terrorists.

    • Rodger

      It will be like Black September in Jordan only much much worse.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Qatar has invested money in Russia( Rosneft stocks and Fund of trade Russia-Qatar) and also in Iran,Iraq!.
    Qatar has lost the war in Syria and seeks to reach agreements with Iran/Iraq/Syria/Russia to link gas pipelines to EU and China through Turkey,Russia,Pakistan….
    Qatar wants to withdraw funding terrorist branch in Syria,Libya and Yemen…
    So these are the 3 reasons why Qatar is now the enemy of Saudi Arabia!

    • More

      Manuel Flores Escobar
      Which route would the Qatar pipelines take on its way to EU / Turkey / China ?

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Qatar-Iran-Turkey-EU/ Qatar-Iran-Turkmenistan-Pakistan-China…Qatar-Iran-Irak-Turkey….Qatar-Iran-Azerbajan( to link with southstream Baku-turkey)-Russia…many options!

  • More

    Well it could not happen to a nicer bunch of Gulfies.

  • Stephen

    I have mentioned before that Israel destabelizing Middle East. In this war Saudi Arab and Qatar helping Israel against Muslim world. The ruling party members of Saudi Arab are evils. Saudi Arab has no army. They use Israeli forces against Muslims.

    • Rodger

      While with the other hand the Saudis do their best to spread their primitive brand of Islam everywhere. So glad the country is going bust.

  • Thegr8rambino

    I hope all those Saudi thugs pictured here die in a huge fireball explosion

  • Pave Way IV

    Despite their otherwise good work, the Tylers at ZeroHedge have (in recent years, anyways) displayed an out-of-place rabid anti-Iranian bias, often parroting questionable MSM fake news critical of Iran. More often than not, the MSM anti-Iran ‘news’ is planted by various Israeli lobbying and PR groups (e.g., AIPAC, FDD). The Tylers seem somewhat neutral on Israel, so I’m not sure why all the Iran hating. Iran has plenty of faults, but when ZeroHedge and the MSM agree on anything, the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

    Tyler cites Sky News Arabia for the 10-point ultimatum without qualifying that ‘source’. Sky News network is a Rupert Murdoch spawn, kind of a UK version of CNN and just about as credible. Sky News Arabia is a 50/50 joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s part of the Abu Dhabi ruling family and a cousin(?) maybe to the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. So it at least deserves a mention when a UAE ‘news’ outlet is making this claim.

    I can’t find an article on Sky News Arabia, but Google Translate pretty much mangles Arabic. (CIA: please fix your Google Translate).

    Whenever the Israeli-firster neocons want to push a narrative, they start out by planting stories like this in little-know (to the U.S. audience) publications with vague attributions. The story is then dutifully picked up by the usual mouthpieces to be repeated ad nauseum. The Wall Street Journal jumped all over it, but we find out that it’s a list being drawn up by the Orb of Evil nations. No mention of who in these nations is drawing it up – the government? the intel agencies? the falafel vendors? And apparently these mysterious foreign policy authors are still at work writing this mythical list – it isn’t done. It is supposedly intended to be delivered to Kuwait for Qatar’s consideration, but by whom? Qatar hasn’t seen anything yet.

    So Sky News Arabia is most likely simply pushing a list that someone WISHES the Orb of Evil nations to present to Qatar through Kuwait. Yet Tyler suggests that this unseen, unverified list has prompted a dramatic response by Qatar. Now, no doubt Qatar is pissed at the KSA/UAE for restricting flights and closing ports – I can see a dramatic response to that. But why mix in this imaginary list and say Qatar’s reaction has anything to do with it? Qatar wouldn’t like it if it was presented to them, but it hasn’t been. It’s almost like someone is trying to get everyone to focus on how much Qatar would oppose such a list.

    Now, everything in the list makes perfect sense, EXCEPT for the odd appearance of Hamas. Why on earth would the Saudis or UAE care about Qatar’s support for Hamas? Why is it on a list of ultimatums? Hamas is a uniquely Israeli problem. The Palestinians have not threatened to attack the UAE or Saudi Arabia that I know of. Why would that appear in an imaginary ultimatum list and who would put it there? I don’t recall seeing Nettanyahu putting his slimy paw on the Orb of Evil.

    The ‘ultimatum’ sounds more like the work of a PR/media ‘managment’ firm for one of the Israeli-firster neocon lobbying organizations in Washington DC. Some of the items are probably ones that the KSA and UAE would include, but others are just preposterous coming from them. They make no practical or diplomatic sense whatsoever.

    The Qatari fiasco itself is very real and created intentionally by Israel/Orb of Evil powers, but the goal is to weaken Iran, not Qatar. The odd ‘ultimatum’ list is just a piece of PsyOp slipped in to steer the narrative. Most of the ‘extremist groups’ Qatar finances are also financed by the Saudis. The two exceptions are Muslim Brotherhood (who have very little presence anywhere anymore – hardly a threat) and Iran-linked groups. Hamas is stated specifically, but the PMUs are there implicitly. The Orb of Evil alliance does not want the Iraqi PMUs interfering with their land/oil theft in Syria.

    • Ronald

      Interesting article in Veterans Today , claiming ” ZeroHedge” , and” Russian Insider” , are deep state sites , I value both , but dis – information is a deep state specialty , you might check it out .

      • Pave Way IV

        All information is useful, especially disinformation.

        When the $#!* hits the fan, you will not be able to rely on ANY internet site – they can all be ‘managed’ by someone else. Your only defense is a bit of skepticism and critical thinking ability. Nothing will ever substitute for that.

        • stevenclark1977

          Yip very interesting article but sky news is a very fair news channel plus he does own sky but he had to let go of sky news because he doesn’t own the whole of sky plus it was something to do with our board casting authority in the UK , cause he is trying to buy the whole of sky plus all the papers he owns in UK like the times and the sun , Sunday sun are all huge paper’s,in the UK not everyone likes Mr Murdoch that is a under statement big time in fact he is hated but he has a lot of media power anyway he had to give up sky news to buy sky but it’s in the hand’s of the government if they will let him own sky but they keep putting it back it was meant to be this year but today is election day and if labour get in he won’t get his wish !!!

  • Ronald

    16 tanks is nothing when you are holding a 700 billion dollar trust fund , the largest in the world .
    Time for a state visit or two , before you can’t .

  • Bob

    ‘US officials have said they have observed increased Qatari military activity…’
    It would be kinda hard not to notice – as the massive Al Udeid military air base outside of Doha not only houses US air force and 10,000 US personnel, but also serves as base of operations for Qatari air force.