President Donald Trump gave his clear support Tuesday to Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic and economic campaign to isolate Qatar, accusing them of “supporting terrorism.”

In an unexpected move against a key United States ally, Trump hinted that Qatar, home to the largest US base in the Middle East, financed the extremists, thus backing the diplomatic blockade against the emirate.

He also tweeted: “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding… extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”

Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Egypt broke diplomatic relations with Qatar.

To this were added economic measures, such as the closing of land and sea borders between these countries and Qatar, as well as the ban on overflight of their territories by Qatar companies or restrictions on the movement of people.

In addition, Qatar was excluded from the Arab military coalition led by Riyadh, which fights pro-Iranian rebels in Yemen. They are criticized for supporting radical Islamist groups and not distancing themselves sufficiently from Iran, a major rival of Saudi Arabia.

In Qatar, there is the largest US air base in the region, with 10,000 men and headquarters of the US military command in the Middle East.

In addition to breaking diplomatic ties and urging Cathar citizens to leave their territory within 14 days, the Gulf States and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar.

For its part, Qatar Airways announced that it has suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

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Posted by Benjamin French

Chicago, IL.

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