Saudi threatens to strike Qatar over missile deal with Russia: report
04 June 2018
The Saudi-Qatar discord has again come to the fore with Saudi Arabia threatening to strike Qatar if it bought Russian S-400 long-range missiles that can strike targets over 400 km away.
Riyadh is reported to have written to France's Emmanuel Macron to intervene and has threatened military action if Qatar went ahead with its acquisition plan.
“Saudi Arabia has threatened military action against Qatar if it goes ahead and acquires Russia's top of the range S-400 air defence missile system,” Le Monde daily reported.
Saudi Arabia "would be ready to take all necessary measures to eliminate this defence system, including military action," the newspaper wrote.
Citing information it had obtained, Le Monde said Friday that Riyadh had written to French President Emmanuel Macron asking him to intervene to prevent the deal going ahead and to help preserve regional stability.
Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries, including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, broke off relations with Qatar in June last year over alleged support to Iran and radical Islamic groups.
Saudi and its allies subsequently imposed economic sanctions on Qatar, which has consistently rejected the charges against it.
An isolated Qatar has sought new friends, including Russia. In January this year Doha announced that talks with Moscow on supplying the sophisticated S-400 system were at an "advanced stage".
Le Monde said that in the letter sent to the French president, Saudi King Salman had expressed his "deep concern" with the discussions between Doha and Moscow and warned about the risk of escalation.