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UAE: Saudi Arabia was going to launch military attack on Qatar

Image of the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]
UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]

Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar, leaked emails dated May 2017 appear to show.

The emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams in May 2017 claim that Saudi came close to “conquering” Qatar and this would “solve everyone’s problems”, according to the Emirati official.

Al-Otaiba added that deceased Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz “came pretty close to doing something in Qatar” a few months before his death in January 2015.

Abrams was surprised by the revelation, the emails show, declaring: “I did not know that. It is dramatic.”

“How hard could it be?” he asked, adding:

Foreigners won’t interfere … Promise the Indians a raise, promise the police a raise and who is going to fight to the death?

Al-Otaiba replied: “That was the conclusion. It would be an easy lift.”

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Alleged leaked emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams from May 2017, suggesting Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar.

Alleged leaked emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams from May 2017, suggesting Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar.

Abrams went on to say that former US President Barack Obama would not have supported an attack on Qatar “but the new guy…” in reference to current American Preisdent Donald Trump.

In the emails, Abrams suggested Jordan control Qatar. “The Hashemites need to control Qatar … that would solve their financial problems and Qatar’s support of extremism.” as he put it.

It is noteworthy that Abrams served as deputy assistant to US President George W. Bush and as his deputy national security adviser.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.

The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, under the threat of further sanctions.

Qatar has refused to submit, denying charges that it supports terrorism and describing the bloc’s efforts to isolate it as a violation of international law and an infringement of its national sovereignty.

A spokesperson at the UAE embassy in the US told Middle East Eye that she was “not in a position to confirm or deny” the emails were genuine.

Read: Has Trump become a leader of Arab nationalism?

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  • Keyboard Soldier

    Taking over a country is not an issue. Keeping it conquered is. The US knows it very well from its “conquering” of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

    Today’s wars are based on guerrilla tactics, not tanks.

    • Having lived in Qatar, keeping it conquered would be easy. No terrain. Nationals number only ~300k…everyone else is an expat or laborer. Saudi’s calculus was not off.

      • Keyboard Soldier

        Saudi should try it. Then see what happens.

      • Magic Magnum

        You realise Qatar has allies right?

  • DEADP00L

    They did before, just like with Yemen. We all know how that turned out.
    It doesn’t matter if the population is only 300 people, when a people
    are invaded, they rise up and that triggers a domino affect within other societies who also feel oppressed by the invading government; that no
    military however brutal or horrific can squash. Soldiers are PAID to
    do what they do, people whose countries are invaded do their fighting for free.

    Neither the UAE nor Saudis will ever command such power. They aren’t loyal to their people, nor are they in power because of their people.

    the UAE thought it would survive that kind of rage they wouldn’t need
    the west. Yet as we all can see, Saudis and UAE DEPEND on the west to remain relevant. They strike bargains with demonic souls to stay where they are, betraying their kin and cousins without even blinking. As if that is even a short term sustainable idea…

    Meanwhile, the
    west doesn’t care who is in power, so long as its interests remain
    constant. Once those interests are depleted, it will leave. Not even turning every GCC state into a tax haven will matter, nothing ‘modern’ will keep its interests. It will factually move on. By then no bomb nor bullet nor torture chamber will keep the people at bay. This is why you NEVER betray your people for ‘normalization’ or ‘ special relationships’ because if the people don’t want it and you have to squash them for you to get it, you are the one living on burrowed time.

    This is the fundamental rule of all civilizations. Ancient and modern.

  • Brian Meegan

    How many years have Sunnis and Shia been fighting? 1400? Lots of peace..

    • DEADP00L

      No they have only been fighting for the past 100 years actually…

  • Brian Meegan

    Wikipedia: “Ali’s rule over the early Muslim community was often contested, and wars were waged against him. As a result, he had to struggle to maintain his power against the groups who betrayed him after giving allegiance to his succession, or those who wished to take his position. This dispute eventually led to the First Fitna, which was the first major civil war within the Islamic Caliphate. The Fitna began as a series of revolts fought against Ali ibn Abi Talib, caused by the assassination of his political predecessor, Uthman ibn Affan. While the rebels who accused Uthman of prejudice[clarification needed] affirmed Ali’s khilafa (caliph-hood), they later turned against him and fought him.[24] Ali ruled from 656 CE to 661 CE,[24] when he was assassinated[25] while prostrating in prayer (sujud). Ali’s main rival Muawiyah then claimed the caliphate.[42]” Does not sound very peaceful to me…

  • H Mokhbat

    Curse on the Saudi government who have only created division among the Ummah in order to please their masters

  • outer_rl

    Iraq tried the same thing with Kuwait. How did that work out?