US officials have agreed to sell a whopping $12 billion in F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, according to the Pentagon.
The deal was signed yesterday after a visit to Washington by Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Khalid Al Attiyah.
The fighter jets will be built by Boeing and “give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar,” the US Department of Defense said.
Bloomberg reports that up to 36 jets have been agreed upon.
Last year, there was talk of Qatar buying 72 F-15 Strike Eagle jets for $21 billion.
‘Be more thoughtful’
To many, yesterday’s deal symbolizes that Qatar has firm support from the US during the ongoing Gulf crisis.
The clear message comes after days of confusion over the US’s official policy on Qatar.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed support for isolating the country, even though his staff has stressed how important an ally they believe the country is.
Qatar is home to the largest US air base in the region.
Speaking to Charlie Rose this week, former prime minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said:
“I think the United States as the super power country in the world should be more thoughtful when they support measures like this. They are our ally and our friends and we expect from our friends to be fair — not to help us, but to be fair.”
But “in the end the United States will do the right thing,” he added.