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State TV: Saudi could shoot down Qatari passenger jet

August 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Qatar Airways [Julian Herzog]

The Saudi state TV channel has sparked outrage by suggesting that a Qatari passenger jet can be shot down by a missile under international law.

In a short animated video, published on Al Arabiya TV, a commercial Qatari airline passenger jet is shown entering Saudi airspace. A voiceover describes the scenario and explains the different options Saudi officials have in forcing the plane to leave Saudi airspace.

According to international law, a state that bans flights from entering its airspace has the right to deal with the violating plane in any way it wishes.

When a banned airline enters the airspace the options include “deploying a fighter jet that forces the plane to land whereby the flight crew are then tried on several charges” the video explains.

While this consideration alone by Saudi Arabia, which is leading a boycott of Qatar, is enough to provoke outrage, the producers then claim that “international law also allows states to shoot down any flight that violates a state’s airspace, classing it as a legitimate target. The video shows graphics of a missile fired by a Saudi fighter jet shooting down a passenger airline. On Twitter the video was uploaded with the text: “Understanding why the ban on #QatarAirways exists”.

Many took to Twitter to express their outrage, some pointing to the irony of shooting down a passenger airline by a country accusing others of supporting terrorism. One of the reasons given by Saudi for its blockade is Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist groups.


Read: Arab rift with Qatar timeline