UAE Ambassador Urges Trump To Move CENTCOM Air Base Out Of Qatar

Tyler Durden's picture

With the naval and economic blockade of Qatar extending into the second week, while Qatar's banks and money exchanges are fast running out of dollars, today the wealthy Gulf state defied and accused the Saudi-led alliance of engaging in an "illegal siege" designed to apply political pressure, while rebuffing the Saudi "offer" of food and aid.

Qatar “completely rejects linking its name with false allegations on financing of terrorism or even claiming its failure to fight terrorism,” the statement cited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying. The bloc’s actions are “aimed at putting the State of Qatar, its citizens and residents under pressure to achieve political purposes.” The economic crisis that has ensued after Saudi Arabia and fellow states severed ties with Qatar "can’t be described as merely a boycott" Qatar said in a statement on Wednesday and reported by Bloomberg, and responded to the Saudi offer that the country has enough food and medical supplies.

The terse response signals that the world’s biggest exporter of LNG is prepared for a lengthy dispute with its neighbors after both sides stepped up efforts to win support from the U.S. over the past week.

Meanwhile, in a striking development, the U.A.E.’s ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, urged the Trump administration should consider moving its air base out of Qatar, the Associated Press reported, a decision which while unlikely, would leave Qatar without a significant insurance policy in the crisis.


An aerial overhead view of "Ops Town" at at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar

As a reminder, Qatar is home to Al Udeid Air Base, CENTCOM’s forward headquarters in the Middle East and a crucial hub for the U.S. air campaign against ISIS. Home to 11,000 U.S. and coalition service members and up to 120 aircraft — including the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s legendary combat airpower and, as of 2016, B-52s dropping bombs on suspected jihadists — the base is home to a $60 million Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) that oversees U.S. airpower in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and 18 other nations throughout the region.

Which is why the Department of Defense will “resist very strongly” any suggestion of moving the Al Udaid base, according to Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Middle East fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. “Al Udaid offers the U.S. facilities that are, at the moment, unmatched in the Gulf, and cannot simply be replicated elsewhere, at least not overnight,’’ Ulrichsen said on June 6 in an email. Still, “moving the base would be a big blow for Qatar as having CENTCOM was an external security guarantee that has, for decades, underpinned Qatar’s regional security stance.”

However, the fact that Saudi Arabia is now actively working on eliminating Qatar's most powerful bargaining chip with the US is troubling, and suggests that the oil-rich kingdom is preparing for even greater escalation with its LNG-exporting neighbor.

Meanwhile, adding to the confusion, the US has continued to send conflicting signals: Trump said on Friday he backed the Saudi-led movement because Qatar has historically “been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” He spoke after a more conciliatory statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who urged the easing of a “blockade” he said was hindering the fight against Islamic State and causing food shortages. The UAE ambassador, however said, that wouldn’t happen, adding that he didn’t see the crisis escalating into a military conflict.

Topping it all off, also on Wednesday Qatar expressed its growing frustration at not receiving specific demands from the Saudi alliance, despite reports of a "24-hour ultimatum" last week, which it said made a diplomatic solution impossible to reach. Al Otaiba told reporters the Saudi-led alliance would “fairly soon” provide a list to the U.S. Almost as if Saudi Arabia does not want a resolution to the conflict it started, and is merely waiting, and hoping, for an escalation.

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supersajin's picture

sphincter wagging the dog...

Jim in MN's picture

Sure beats talking about Seth Rich or Loretta Lynch.

Don't think ZH even covered the latest from Circa News yesterday:

http://circa.com/politics/comey-privately-told-congress-about-second-con...

Ex-FBI Director James Comey has privately told members of Congress that he had a frosty exchange with Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year when he confronted her about possible political interference in the Hillary Clinton email investigation after showing Lynch a sensitive document she was unaware the FBI possessed.

wee-weed up's picture

 

 

Hmmm... I don't see any planes or runways.

That photo must show only a portion of the airbase.

Stormtrooper's picture

Runways are on the other side of the country.  Kind of a long taxi ride from the hangar.

Stuck on Zero's picture

We need floating moveable air bases so each time we're kicked out of a country we can move to the next. Uh wait ...

Jim in MN's picture

Even this photo's been cropped.  You can see some runway action in the full photo on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Udeid_Air_Base#/media/File:Al_Udeid_Air...

 

Moe Hamhead's picture

Those are just the theatres, bowling alleys, skating rinks, donut shops, and karaoke bars for the troops. 

doctor10's picture

All the GCC states have been playing footsie with the MB for the last 15 years. Obammy encouraged it. Trump is discouraging it.

The GCC chose Qatar as the "fall guy". Evidently they forgot about CentCom before doing so. As well as the fact Qatar is right across the water from its now new trading partner, Iran. And probably a few other less obvious idiocies in there somewhere.

All Trump wants is the MB NOT to get another billion dollars this year by kidnapping another GCC Royal Family.

11b40's picture

These rag heads (inbred) Royals are not known for strategic thinking.  You may well be correct in that they overlooked a few things, as you noted above, but there is another one that could be a huge problem for them if Qatar & Iran become best buds.  Below are 2 links to maps.  The first shows population areas of Shia vs. Sunni/Wahhabism.  The second shows where the concentration of oil fields/pipelines/ports are located in SA.  Anyone see a problem for SA if Iran starts a bunch of clandestine activities to destabilize these regions?

 

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=saudi+arabia+map+showing+su...

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=Saudi+Arabia+showing+oild+f...

I love maps.  They tend to explain a lot of the reasons behind events.  

smacker's picture

According to that first map, Dubai is Wahhabi. That may be true but it would astonish me. I've never asked my contacts there about it because I've always assumed they are Sunni.

Edit: here's "a better map" showing the oil/gas fields across the M/E.

francis scott falseflag's picture

Stop spreading fake news about Qatar.  Nobody chose Qatar as "the fall guy."

Qatar and Russia had been slow dancing for months and the geniuses of the 

'deep state', (in their supreme stupidity) thought that by having KSA accuse them

of supporting terrorism, they would drop Moscow and return to their position

under the thumb of the House of Saud.

 

Needless to say that didn't work out too well for KSA, UAE, and deep state.

The only reason that the UAE Ambassador delivered the message about

leaving Qatar, was that King Salman is trying to look moderate in this

whole kerfuffle and didn't want to be quoted.

 

Could be that Qatar will hook up with Putin and the ME will become a real hottie.

IranContra's picture

As senior partner, Trump calls all major shots in the Arab-American military alliance against Iran / Dajjal / Anti-Christ.

Trucker Glock's picture

Close it down and bring em home.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Keep them employed, guarding our border. Let them worry about their border.

Pandelis's picture

"in a striking development"

 

in my humble opinion it is expected given the infiltration of al jazeera and qatar by ISIS

DirtySanchez's picture

Mr Trump,

Get the fuck out of the Middle east, and stay out.

Let the rag heads sort this out.

We have caused enough problems over there.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

They cause their own problems, with factional religious groups committing violent acts each each other for factional-group gains, but this country has its own problems, which our politicians prefer to ignore.

IranContra's picture

You break it, you fix it. He is fixing what all presidents before him have broken, and America benefits greatly.

Muad'Grumps's picture

You kniow what this means? PetroDollar is done. Qatar is pivotong to China. Will sell for RMB.

Demologos's picture

Cool, maybe Russia or China will move into the nice base US taxpayers built. Winning!

numapepi's picture

While your under the bus Qatar check out the exhaust... is it leaking?

Vimes's picture

The exhaust is leaking? What did you have for dinner?!

AlexCharting's picture

"Price of oil is ging down to fast, we need more chaos in middle east ASAP!"

Zepper's picture

Once those 10k soldiers get moved out of Quatar... then that is the first signal that Quatar is going to be annexed by SA. and the first volley of war will be unleashed in the middle east.... causing untold casualties, massive economic strife and a new order will emerge which imho is going to make the docile, behind the scenes cunts we have today look like the good old days. 

smacker's picture

"Once those 10k soldiers get moved out of Quatar... then that is the first signal that Quatar is going to be annexed by SA."

Yep, I'd bet that is SA's secret agenda. And it fits well into a strong suspicion that its major oil field Ghawar has peaked and oil output will be tapering off.

The obscene savage sub-human Saudi "Royals" need something to replace oil.

Blankone's picture

Or perhaps this request to move the base for security reasons and to avoid a claimed terrorist supporting country is the ruse.

Say it has to be moved due to concerns, then say it cannot be moved for many reasons, then allow the Saudis to overrun Qatar and claim publicly it was the best option. Then take control of Qatar's gas fields and use them against Russia.

11b40's picture

While Iran and the Russians and the Chinese and the Turks sit on their hands....right.

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

It's the Ghawar reservoir. It's depleting quickly. Qatar still has large reserves. There is also the added stratagem in that Qatar and Iran "drink the same milkshake".

Qatar gets to be the fall guy for SA with all of the terrorism funding, while expanding SA reserves, and sticking it further to Iran/Russia/China.

smacker's picture

If Qatar invited Iran military into the country (standing room only due to square footage problem ;-)), it would cut straight across the Saudi annexation plan.

And the only pre-requesite for Qatar is to really really cease and desist all terrorism funding in Syria, which would further screw ISIS.

Go for it Qatar,,,don't allow your sub-human Wahhabi neighbours next door to get a foot in your door. Iran could build its military base right next door to CENTCOM.

smacker's picture

Presumably the UAE want the US airbase moved from Qatar to Abu Dhabi.

Schmuck Raker's picture

Hey Qatar, cut of the gas. Do it.... do it.

Vimes's picture

It would really surprise me if they would move their air-base, seems like a good location. Close to the port of Doha, what would the US win by moving to a place in the UAE? The fact that the base is in Qatar would not, in my opinion, hinder a hostile take over from the other Gulf states.

khildner's picture

Can't they just rename the country or the airbase (or both) to something else?

Jim in MN's picture

Rebranding.  Good call.  Like ValuJet.

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Exactly - a fucking name we can all agree how it's pronounced, maybe Guitar or Banjo. 

YHWH is greater's picture

Qatar owns the Paris Saint Germain PSG mudslime/nigger soccer team.

That's what Trump gets from pulling out of Paris accords, which favors Nat Gas over oil, and favors Qatar.

Nabuco pipeline with fork to Aïfa is compromised, I'm sure this will end well.

 

Laughing.Man's picture

Nothing will happen.  Israel will make sure of it.  Far too valuable to hand over to Iran or Russia.

PodissNM's picture

Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC)

lol, how's that acronym pronounced then? And would it be fair to say the UAE is jealous of Qatar and wants the CAOC for themselves?

IranContra's picture

Makes sense if Iran and its proxies (Muslim Brotherhood) and militias (IRGC) cannot be easily driven out of Qatar.

Dude-dude's picture

The Muslim Brotherhood are Sunni, Iranians are Shiite dumb-ass troll. 

IranContra's picture

Sects don't matter for suiciders. Together in hell is their motto. Qatar's government are crypto-Iranians. The MB leadership are crypto-Iranians, they visit Iran regularly. They have been on record despising Arabs. Qatar's ayatollah Qaradawi is not an Arab. Probably Iranian-Jewish like Iraq's Maliki:

http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/gulf/2017/06/14/%D8%B4%D8%A7%...

OKUSA's picture

Gee I wonder why...could an attack be in the plans?

mary mary's picture

I would move the base out of Qatar for $20-trillion.

Wingnut6799's picture

Thought it's said to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

francis scott falseflag's picture

The only reason that the UAE Ambassador delivered the message about

our air base leaving Qatar, was that King Salman is trying to look moderate

in this whole kerfuffle and didn't want to be quoted.

dogismycopilot's picture

I do say, if ARAMCO ends up with Ras Laffan/Doha Gas...shit, THAT'S AN IPO WORTH TAKING A PUNT ON!!!