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APNewsBreak: US military halts exercises over Qatar crisis

APNewsBreak: US military halts exercises over Qatar crisis”

In a rebuke to the countries boycotting Qatar, the United States has suspended military exercises with its Gulf allies.

The Gulf countries are yet to comment on the USA army's decision.

The Qatar diplomatic crisis started back in June when several countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Yemen, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

According to the Associated Press, US Central Command said the aim is to show that the military wants its allies in the region to work together. Riyadh also accused Qatar of supporting Iran-backed militants.

Qatar is home to the massive al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of Central Command which oversees the US-led coalition's bombing campaign of the Islamic State group and manages a direct line to Russian Federation to manage Syria's crowded skies.

But US officials are now working to end the months-long dispute.

The U.S. has key bases in the region, including in Qatar, which has a Central Command headquarters and is home to the Al-Udeid airbase.

The U.S. military is closely monitoring diplomatic tensions in the gulf region, which hosts the Fifth Fleet and important U.S. bases for the operation against ISIS and the Taliban. The U.S. military holds exercises in part to build the confidence of local forces, many of which use American-made equipment. This year, the exercise was held in Kuwait in March where some 1,000 U.S. troops had participated.

US and Gulf allies have regularly held joint, smaller-scale exercises in the region. "It is likely an indication to longstanding security and defence partners that U.S. patience on this spat is not open-ended and is rapidly drawing to a close", Mr Ulrichsen said.



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