Qatar will not seek alternatives to U.S. predatory drones despite “frustrating” sales delays
Qatar–Doha will not seek to purchase modern strike drones despite Washington’s tremendous delay in sales. For example, Doha had formally applied to purchase four MQ-9b Predator drones from the United States over a year ago. Still, the U.S. Department of State, which oversees foreign military sales, has yet to follow through on its request despite having delivered the same drones to other countries such as the neighboring United Arab Emirates.
Although Gulf state officials said they would use U.S.-supplied drones to keep an eye on giant natural gas plants and monitor terrorist threats in the region and prevent terrorist activity in other areas, Washington has not trusted their promises.
Officials from Qatar and the United States have said the deal, estimated at around $ 600 million, will provide Doha with more substantial defensive capability within the region. According to local sources, Qatar has also considered American-made F-35 stealth fighters if it can’t get four MQ-9b drones.
Qatar’s frustration has increased in recent months after aiding the United States in evacuating tens of thousands of Afghans and foreigners from Afghanistan following the rise of the Taliban, warning the international community of terrorist groups’ intentions to carry out attacks. in Kabul during the NATO evacuation. “The disappointment from our point of view is that there is no clear indication as to why our work is delayed,” a Qatari government official told the WSJ last week.
The U.S. State Department spokesman declined to comment, adhering to not publicly commenting on the Department of Defense sales proposals policy. However, the issue of delayed operations should be high on Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s agenda during his visit to Washington this month. Our sources confirmed that Qatar does not intend to turn to other countries to purchase drones, warning that the patience of the tiny Gulf country is running out.