In the midst of a series of mixed messages coming from the White House, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has signed a deal worth $21 billion to sell F-15 fighter jets to Qatar.
Qatar signs LOA for the purchase of the F-15QA fighter jets creating 60,000 new jobs in 42 states across the United States pic.twitter.com/tnOAC3KGma
— Meshal Hamad AlThani (@Amb_AlThani) June 14, 2017
A few days ago President Trump had accused Qatar of funding terrorism: “The nation of Qatar has unfortunately been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level.”
The Anti Media reports:
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The agreement is for the purchase of a number of F-15 fighter jets, a sale which the Pentagon says will ensure that Qatar has “state-of-the-art” defensive capabilities. Qatar is the richest nation on the planet in per-capital GDP, but a very small nation to be spending $12 billion on warplanes.
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Over the past couple of decades, oil-rich Gulf Arab states have used some of their massive oil revenue to buy US warplanes as sort of prestige pieces to trot out during parades and the like. That tensions are rising between Qatar and the other nations, who have their own large fleets of US warplanes, but this purchase in a totally different context.
The Pentagon has retained close ties with Qatar throughout the regional dispute, reflecting the fact that Qatar hosts the largest US base in the region. In addition to the arms deal, the US Navy has sent two boats into Qatari waters today to join the nation’s fleet for military exercises.
All of this comes just a day after the Ambassador from the United Arab Emirates suggested the US should move their base out of Qatar to “pressure” them. That, it seems, is not under serious consideration from the Pentagon.
Editor’s note: The Qatari arms deal also comes just days after President Trump stated in a press conference that Qatar was historically a “funder of terrorism” and funding for its “radical ideologies” must cease immediately.
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
Watch Trump’s full remarks on Qatar below:
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