US President Donald Trump warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE over taking military action against Qatar, according to Bloomberg.
The Gulf allies are reported to have considered taking military action over their dispute against Qatar. Leaked email correspondence between UAE Ambassador to America, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams reveal that plans to invade Qatar had been discussed as early as 2015, before the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.
Similar plans were hatched prior to the current crisis which has seen a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar entering its fourth month. Riyadh is said to have come close to “conquering” Qatar, which according Al-Otaiba would “solve everyone’s problems”.
Abrams went on to say that former US President Barack Obama would not have supported an attack on Qatar “but the new guy…”, in an apparent reference to current US President Donald Trump’s approval of such a measure.
While Al-Otaiba appeared certain to receive Trump’s backing, according to the email exchange, the president seems to have called both leaders and told them to back off. Trump is reported to have told them that any military action would trigger a crisis across the Middle East.
While Saudi Arabia has denied that military action was ever contemplated, this report, as well as the speedy deployment of troops by Turkey to Qatar, suggests that military action against Doha was a genuine threat.
Yesterday at the UN, Qatar compared the blockade to terrorism and said that it amounted to a “betrayal” by the Saudis.