Two US Navy vessels arrived in the Gulf for a joint exercise with Qatar's fleet, according to Doha state media. The American boats arrived yesterday at Hamad Port south of Doha "to participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy," according to a Ministry of Defence statement posted on the Qatar News Agency. It is not clear when the joint exercise was arranged, but it will take place during a time of crisis in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia and allies have imposed a political and economic "blockade" on Qatar, in protest at Doha's support for Islamist extremist groups as well as over its ties to Shiite Iran. The move has been backed by nations including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others. Qatar strongly denies the charges and claims neighbouring countries are trying to interfere with its foreign policy. America's largest air base in the Middle East, Al-Udeid, is in Qatar.
US Navy boats in Qatar for joint exercise