The Middle East exploded when Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE imposed a trade embargo on Qatar. They followed up by severing diplomatic relations and expelling Qatari nationals. The ostensible reason is the perceived support of the government of Qatar in supporting "terrorism". Donald Trump the US president sided with the Saudi-led decision and even threatened that the US base and said it could be relocated. Significantly the defense and state departments tried to be neutral in the conflict. Now Reuters News Agency has reported that a 12 billion dollar arms deal has been signed with the USA for the supply of F-15 fighter jets.

Reuters news agency has quoted a Qatari official as saying" Americas support for Qatar is deep rooted and not easily influenced by political changes." This news has been reported by CNN International.

America and Qatar

Though Trump has ranted against Qatar, there is some truth in the belief in Qatar that America is too deeply involved to abandon the tiny nation. The Americans maintain their largest airbase in the region at Al Udeid. This base hosts over 11000 American and allied troops. The base is an important part of the campaign against the ISIL.

To add to the chagrin of the Saudi-led alliance, two warships of the US fleet have docked for a joint exercise with the Qatar Navy. These activities show that the USA is not going to abandon the nation.

Pentagon justifies

The Pentagon has justified the sale of the jets to Qatar. It has said that this sale will increase security in the region. It will also lead to greater cooperation between America and Qatar and will help in joint operations. Earlier the Defence Secretary General Jim Mattis had discussed the battle against the Islamic State with the Qatar Defense Minister Khalid Al- Attiyah.

The sale of the fighter jets is sure to alarm Saudi Arabia. Trump has just concluded a 100 billion dollar arms deal with the Saudis. The US arms deal with Qatar shows that the Americans are shrewd and unlikely to abandon the small emirate. There is the added danger that in case the country is abandoned it may well turn to Iran for Help.

Iran has already sent 5 planeloads of vegetable to help tide over the effects of the blockade.


Qatar is not likely to buckle down as it sits on vast reserves of natural gas which is its biggest earner. the tiny nation is supported by Turkey and their foreign minister has been quoted by the Anadolu News Agency "Just like other countries, like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt... it is natural for Qatar to buy airplanes or parts necessary for its own defense" It will be interesting to watch how the Middle East crisis unfolds.