Experts doubtful of UAE claim that Qatar intercepted aircraft

Experts doubtful of UAE claim that Qatar intercepted aircraft

QLReporter
By QLReporter

Experts have expressed doubt at a claim by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that Qatari fighter jets had intercepted Emirati passenger planes, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

Emirati state media claimed that two civilian airliners headed for Bahrain were intercepted by Qatar on Monday, citing the country's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

In response, Qatar strongly denied the claims, calling them a "systematic attack" by the UAE to distract attention from its own violations of Qatari airspace.

The claims come a week after Doha filed a complaint to the UN Security Council over two alleged occurrences of Emirati military aircraft violating Qatari airspace.

Alex Macheras, an aviation expert who provides aviation advice to international networks like BBC News, Sky News, Good Morning Britain & LBC, said that if Monday's alleged incident had taken place as described, it was expected that the airlines involved would come forward, a formal complaint be made to international bodies and passengers on board the flights to have shared pictures.

He warned viewers in a tweet about “unauthenticated footage” of the alleged incident released by Bahraini media outlets.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Macheras elaborated: “The international community for aviation expects the UN to be notified with details of the interception, time, coordinates, location and a full run-down of what happened... exactly like what Qatar supplied the UN with when the UAE military flew over Doha's economic area.

"Until then, it seems these accusations are more in retaliation to being the subject of Qatar's UN complaint rather than a genuine occurrence."

When news of the incident was published by the UAE, no airline came forward to report that its aircraft were involved in any way.

Since the illegal blockade of Qatar began last June, Doha has refrained from imposing retributive measures on the four blockading nations, including the UAE.

The UAE reports alleged that the planes were inside Qatar's airspace at the time of their interception, as Emirati airliners are allowed in Qatar's airspace. On the other hand, Qatari planes are blocked from Emirati airspace under a series of punitive measures.

King's College London academic, Dr. Andreas Krieg, expressed his doubt of the Emirati reports, saying that he though it was "fake news" and that Qatar had no reason to violate International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules.

Krieg spoke to Al Jazeera, pointing out Qatar’s full compliance with IATA regulations.

“Qatar has built its entire narrative on being a reliable partner in multilateral organisations and institutions."

He explained that Doha would gain nothing from breaching the "very rules that Qatar is suing the UAE for.”

 

 

Cover image credit: wingsjournal.com

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