Gulf States Launch Naval Blockade Of Qatar | Zero Hedge

This is a really big deal for the whole world people.

This article describes the assets involved and other info.

This from NightWatch is an Intel assessment of what may lay ahead.

Via NightWatch Last Night:

Saudi Arabia–Qatar:  On 5 June, Saudi Arabia and its allies severed diplomatic relations with the Emirate of Qatar over its support for Iran and for militant Islamic fundamentalist groups.


Saudi Arabia also closed the land border and air and sea space to traffic bound for or from Qatar Al Jazeera is banned in the Kingdom. Qataris have 14 days to leave the Kingdom and no Qataris may enter or transit Saudi Arabia. Saudi citizens
have been directed to not travel to Qatar. Saudi citizens in Qatar have been directed to leave within 14 days.


Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and the Tobruk-based government in Libya also cut diplomatic relations and gave Qataris 14 days to depart. Egypt also closed its airspace and ports to traffic to or
from Qatar.


The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen ordered the token Qatari presence to leave the coalition and Yemen.


Turkey and Iran stated their support for Qatar. Iran offered to provide supplies that normally would come overland from Saudi Arabia.




            Comment:  A longstanding agreement to disagree about multiple Arab issues has erupted as a public schism among Sunni Arab leaders. The specific trigger for Saudi Arabia’s action is unclear. An analysis in the
Financial Times contends that Qatar recently contrived to pay an al Qaida affiliate in Syria and Iranian security authorities $1 billion on the pretext of releasing kidnapped Qataris and detained jihadis. The Saudis just learned of it.


In the past two weeks, however, Qatar News Agency published remarks attributed to Sheikh Tamim who said that “there is no wisdom in harboring hostility toward Iran.”  He also described Iran as “a regional and Islamic power
that cannot be ignored.” He supposedly said Hamas is the true leader of the Palestinians. These remarks coincided with the US President’s visit to Saudi Arabia and contradicted Saudi views.


Qatari authorities later said its news agency was hacked, but the Saudis and Emiratis banned
al Jazeera nonetheless and dismissed the hacking story.


The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, congratulated Iranian President Rouhani on his re-election, making him the only Arab monarch to do so.


In the Saudi and Egyptian point of view, the Qatari emirate has bucked mainstream positions held by Arab leaders for years. The friction with the Saudis strikes us as personal as well as rooted in policy differences. The young Emir, Tamim
bin Hamad Al Thani, refuses to acknowledge Saudi Arabian leadership and refuses to defer to the Kingdom on policy issues.


Qatar maintains cooperative relations with Iran partly because Qatar shares with Iran a large undersea gas field. The other part is because it gives Qatar outsized stature and leverage in Arab meetings.


The Qataris are reputed to support various al Qaida franchises, the Taliban, the Islamic State, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. For example, the Afghan Taliban staff a diplomatic office in Doha. That support makes Qatar a unique place
for meetings between warring parties.


Terrorist and other extremist groups require constant funding because they are parasites. Qatar always seems to be mentioned when financing of terrorism is concerned.


The action to isolate Qatar represents the backlash against grievances accumulated over many years.


In a living system analysis, the Saudi treatment of Qatar signifies fragmentation in the Gulf States system, deliberately engineered by the Saudis.  Its aim is to consolidate Arab unity against the Iranians and Sunni extremists.
Qatar must be with the Arab mainstream or become a pariah.


Qatar’s policies of accommodating competing viewpoints are no longer tolerable in the Gulf State system.  The Saudi version of NATO – the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism — cannot succeed with Qatar supporting the groups the
alliance aims to suppress.


Most fragmentation scenarios involve the creation of an alternative power center that separates in order to be independent. This Qatar scenario involves an internal split between competing power centers over issues of primacy. Either scenario
can lead to civil war within a single state system. 


Violence is unlikely in this scenario, mostly because the US does not want instability near its large air force base in Qatar. Our sense is that some form of rapprochement is unavoidable, after a time.


Qatar is too small, vulnerable and too resource poor to stay out of the Gulf States system for long. Iran and Turkey lack the resources to carry the Qataris.


The price of Qatar’s readmission to the Gulf States system as a member in good standing will be a reduction, if not a termination, of Emirate support to Islamic extremist movements.  If that occurred, it would represent a milestone in the
fight against Islamic terror. Cutting the financial support subsystem is a solution to terrorist parasites, for as long as the blockage lasts.


Relations will remain strained as long as Sheikh Tamim remains in power.


Pakistani reaction. A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Pakistan has no plans to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar.


Comment: The Pakistani political elite is surprised and distressed by the Saudi-led action to isolate Qatar because retired Pakistani General Raheel Sharif is the commander of the Islamic Military
Alliance to Fight Terrorism.  Pakistan has correct relations with Iran and seeks to avoid the perception that it is hostile to Iran, despite Pakistan’s close ties to Saudi Arabia.


Those Pakistanis who opposed the Islamabad government’s permission for General Sharif to command the new alliance will cite the crisis as exemplifying their argument that Pakistan has no business getting involved in Arab affairs. Some politicians
have called for his recall.

This entry was posted in #RcWire.

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