Bahrain has ordered Qatari troops serving with a coalition fighting Daesh to leave its territory. The soldiers, part of the US Naval Forces Central Command (Navcent) which is headquartered in Bahrain, have been asked to leave the coalition and may depart within the next 48 hours.
Khaleej Times reported a source saying, on condition of anonymity, that the Bahrainis had told the US general in command of the base that Qatari soldiers must leave.
“They are still in the base but likely to leave within the next two days,” the source said.
The news comes as the Gulf faces the biggest diplomatic crisis in recent years, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain suspending ties over Qatar’s alleged funding of terrorism. A charge Doha denies.
The source did not detail the number of Qatari troops based in Bahrain. One analyst estimated it was a “handful of officers”.
Qatar is believed to have deployed troops with Navcent since 2014. Navcent is part of the US Central Command whose area of operation includes the Middle East and Asia.
Numerous airstrikes against Daesh targets in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have been conducted from Qatar’s Al Udeid, the largest US base in the region, as part of Navcent’s operations.