Qatar in talks to buy Russia’s S-400 systems

Qatari military (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 January 2018
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Qatar in talks to buy Russia’s S-400 systems

MOSCOW: Qatar is in talks with Moscow to buy Russian S-400 missile air defense systems, Tass state news agency quoted the Qatari ambassador to Russia on Thursday as saying.
Qatar is engaged in a deepening diplomatic row with some of its Gulf Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, over allegations it supports terrorism, a charge Doha denies.
Since the crisis began last June, Russia has been more active in the region and has sold its missile defense system to other regional powers, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
“The answer to this question is yes,” Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah said in an interview with Tass, when asked if Qatar was planning to buy the S-400 systems. “Talks about the subject are at an advanced stage.”
He said an agreement on military and technical cooperation between the two countries, signed in October, had opened the door for further cooperation between Russia and Qatar in the defense field.
This cooperation includes “supplies of military hardware, military training of officers and soldiers, equipment and, indeed, cooperation on the level of special services.”
Attiyah added that the two countries would have military attaches posted in embassies.
Qatar and Russia signed a military technical cooperation agreement and memorandum of understanding on air defense and military supplies in October, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the Gulf state.
Last June Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar and imposed travel and economic sanctions on the Gulf Arab state, accusing it of “supporting terrorism” and cosying up to Iran.
Doha has said the four countries are trying to force it to alter its policies to be in line with their own.


Daesh extremists blow themselves up in north Iraq: army

Updated 44 min 23 sec ago
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Daesh extremists blow themselves up in north Iraq: army

  • The explosion happened in Qayrawan village, next to the Syrian border
  • SDF commander said the fight must continue to eliminate “sleeper cells”

BAGHDAD: Three suspected Daesh group suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday in northern Iraq, the army said, a day after the extremists’ “caliphate” was wiped out in neighbouring Syria.
Army spokesman Yahya Rassoul said the incident took place in a region near the Syrian border, where extremists sleeper cells are believed to be present.
He said the suspects died as troops surrounded them but there were no casualties among government forces.
Local officials said the suspects were killed as they were trying to attack troops in the village of Qayrawan, south of the mountainous region of Sinjar which borders Syria.
Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday pronounced the death of the nearly five-year-old Daesh “caliphate” which once stretched across a vast swathe of Syria and Iraq.
Their victory was hailed as a major landmark in the battle against the extremists but there have also been numerous calls for “vigilance” with many saying the fight is far from over.
Top SDF commander Mazloum Kobani on Saturday warned that a new phase had begun in anti-Daesh operations and appealed for sustained assistance from the US-led coalition to help smash “sleeper cells.”
Diehard extremists continue to have a presence in mountainous or desert regions between Syria and Iraq, which had declared victory over Daesh in December 2017.
In Iraq some of these regions remain inaccessible to security forces.