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Middle East
US 'building missile defence radar' in Qatar
Pentagon says it is seeking to 'build greater cooperation' and address security interests in region.
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2012 05:26

The Pentagon is building a missile defence radar station at a covert location in Qatar, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The site will be part of a system intended to defend the interests of the United States and its allies against Iranian rockets, unnamed officials told the US newspaper on Tuesday.

"We have a number of allies and partners in the region with whom we seek to build greater cooperation, and our goal is to address a wide range of US security interests there," the Pentagon said in reply to Al Jazeera’s question on purported radar site.

A similar radar has existed on Mount Keren in the Negev Desert since 2008 and another is installed in Turkey as part of NATO's missile defence shield.

Officials told the newspaper that the US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, wants to deploy the first Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in the area in the coming months, possibly in the United Arab Emirates.

The newspaper also reported that the US was preparing for its biggest-ever minesweeping exercises in the Gulf in September, calling them the "first such multilateral drills in the region".

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