US inks billion-dollar arms deal with Qatar despite Trump terror claims

US completes billion-dollar deal with Qatar, despite previous terror criticism form Donald Trump

Qatar has bought a reported 36 F-15 fighter jets (Stock image)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The US has agreed to sell a number of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, despite President Donald Trump accusing the country of funding terrorism at a "very high level."

Trump has also claimed the world wanted Qatar to join "the unity of responsible nations" to fight against terrorism, while a series of fellow Arab states have severed ties with the tiny Gulf kingdom over claims it secretly backed groups such as Islamic State.

However a $12 billion (£9.4 billion) deal has now been signed between US defence chief Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart, according to various reports. Bloomberg says the deal is for 36 jets.

The biggest US airbase in the Middle East is situated in Qatar and the country often helps US troops in fights against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

A Qatari deal cited by Reuters says the deal shows "proof that US institutions are with us, but we have never doubted that.

"Our militaries are like brothers. America's support for Qatar is deep-rooted and not easily influenced by political changes."

A few weeks ago America also sealed a deal with Saudi Arabia, selling them weapons worth $100 billion (£78.4 billion).