US military: No plans to change our posture in Qatar

US Central Command says its flights out of Al-Udeid airbase in Qatar will be unaffected by the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

    The US military on Monday lauded Qatar for its "enduring commitment to regional security" and said US flights out of Al-Udeid airbase in Qatar were unaffected by the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

    "We've seen no impact to our operations and all flights continue as planned," Lieutenant-Colonel Damien Pickart, a spokesman for US Air Forces Central Command, told Reuters.

    "The United States and the [anti-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, US-led] coalition are grateful to the Qataris for their long-standing support of our presence and their enduring commitment to regional security."

    The US military's Central Command also said that it has "no plans to change our posture in Qatar".

    READ MORE: Timeline of GCC, Egyptian discord with Qatar

    Major Adrian JT Rankine-Galloway told The Associated Press in a statement on Monday that US military aircraft continue to fly missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria despite the rift.

    Rankine-Galloway said: "We encourage all our partners in the region to reduce tensions and work towards common solutions that enable regional security."

    A representative for the US military at the Pentagon told Al Jazeera there would be no change in the US operations regarding the base.

    "From a military perspective, we are not affected by the current news events," said the representative, who declined to be named.

    Qatar is home to the vast Al-Udeid airbase that holds the forward headquarters of Central Command and hosts some 10,000 American troops.

    In the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991, the US and Qatar signed a military cooperation agreement, which deepened military ties between the countries.

    The US military moved into the base in 2003 after evacuating the Prince Sultan air force base in Saudi Arabia.

    Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced early on Monday they would sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, calling into question whether that would affect US military operations.

    READ MORE: Qatar diplomatic crisis - How it affects air travel

    In Sydney, Australia, Rex Tillerson, US state secretary, said he didn't believe the diplomatic crisis would affect the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Iraq and Syria.

    "I think what we're witnessing is a growing list of disbelief in the countries for some time, and they've bubbled up to take action in order to have those differences addressed," he said. "We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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