US military halts joint exercises with blockading nations over Qatar crisis

US military halts joint exercises with blockading nations over Qatar crisis

QLReporter
By QLReporter

The US military has finally started flexing its muscles to bring a speedy end to the ongoing illegal siege of Qatar.

The military force has halted some exercises with its Gulf Arab allies over the ongoing diplomatic crisis, trying to use its influence to end the months-long dispute, reported Al Jazeera.

In a statement, Air Force Col. John Thomas, a Central Command spokesman, said: “We’re opting out of some military exercises out of respect for the concept of inclusiveness and shared regional interests,” reported Gulf Times.

“We’ll continue to encourage all partners to work together towards the sort of common solutions that enable security and stability in the region,” he added.

While offering few details, the acknowledgement by US Central Command (CENTCOM) shows the concern it has over the conflict gripping the Gulf, home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet and crucial bases for its campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, as well as the war in Afghanistan, reported Qatar Tribune.
The spokesman said the cancellation will not affect the war against the Islamic State extremist group.

Initially, US military officials had said the boycott of Qatar had no effect on their operations.

Qatar is home to the massive Al Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of CENTCOM.

While Qatari officials were not immediately available for comment, the boycotting nations have not acknowledged the disruption in military exercises with the US.

Among the exercises likely to be affected is Eagle Resolve, an annual exercise held since 1999 that has GCC countries send forces alongside Americans to simulate working as a multinational force in battle.

This year's Eagle Resolve exercise, held in Kuwait in March, involved 1,000 US troops.

Picture courtesy: The Peninsula

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