An F-117 and F-15s prepare to launch from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, during Operation Enduring Freedom – Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 2 December 2017: Under the title “US doesn’t need Qatar air base if Qatar won’t support our fight against terrorism”, the retired U.S. Air Force General and Deputy Commander Charles Wald wrote a report on Friday in which he called on the U.S. to “leave Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base just as quickly and painlessly as it arrived,” in the Fox News website.
Wald stated facts proving Qatar’s support to terrorism as he said “Qatar has a long history of providing sanctuary to terrorist leaders, including September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed”.
He mentioned that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) earlier released documents concerning Osama bin Laden in which it was exposed the deep relations between Qatar and Iran for years. The documents make it clear that bin Laden saw Al Qaeda’s two key patrons as Qatar and Iran.
Qatar provided funds to Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, whose interests bin Laden shared, and also fomented radicalism through Al-Jazeera and Qatari-based and sponsored clerics, such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Wald stated in his report.
In March 2014, a senior U.S. Treasury Department official called Qatar a “permissive jurisdiction” for illicit financing of terrorist groups in Syria, including ISIS and al-Nusra”
“The United States asks our allies to aggressively confront terrorism in all its forms and to deter Iranian expansionism and aggression. How can we continue to ask this of our allies if we turn a blind eye to Qatar?” the Deputy Commander of U.S. exclaimed indignantly.
Based on all these proves that Qatar supports terrorism, Wald called on the U.S to take strong actions against Qatar, without fear that by pressuring Doha, the U.S. could lose a supposedly indispensable National Security asset, in the forefront Al-Udeid Air Base.
He said that Al-Udeid is not critical to U.S. National Security. The U.S. did not build Al-Udeid. It merely invested additional infrastructure in an existing Qatari base and this doesn’t justify turning a blind eye to the host nation’s allioance with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al Udeid is host to a Forward Headquarters of United States Central Command, Headquarters of United States Air Forces Central Command, No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group RAF, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the USAF. According to a report published in the Jewish Press Website reported., back when the June strife was heating up, the base at that time hosted more than 11,000 U.S. and US-led coalition forces and more than 100 operational aircraft.
Now, The Congress has added $143 million to the Pentagon budget, to upgrade the strategic Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, close to Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq, Jewish Press stated.
According to the report, this Jordanian Base could replace the U.S. Air Force in Qatar, Al-Udeid Air Base.
Qatar has been hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis in years after multiple Arab nations, including Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, cut ties with Qatar; accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support of Islamist groups.
The Arab Quartet halted all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, and withdrew their diplomats and ambassadors from the Qatari peninsula. They issued a list of 13 demands to Doha –shortened later to six principles - including the closure of Al-Jazeera television channel, curbing relations with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.