Alwaght-Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates planned to invade neighboring Qatar last year amid a diplomatic crisis which led to the blockade of the Persian Gulf nation.
A report published by The Intercept revealed on Wednesday that the plot, which was largely devised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE's crown princes, involved Saudi ground troops entering Qatar, and with support from the UAE army, advancing 100 kilometers inland and seizing the Qatari capital.
According to some US intelligence official, Qatari intelligence agents inside Saudi Arabia caught wind of the plot in the summer of 2017. Several months later, US and UK intelligence services confirmed the plot.
President and CEO of Crisis Group and a top Middle East adviser to former US President Barack Obama, Robert Malley, said that since the summer of 2017, Qatari officials had been telling him that their country was under the threat of invasion.
“There is little doubt that senior Qatari officials with whom I spoke were convinced — or at least acted as if they were convinced — that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had been planning a military attack on their country that was halted as a result of US intervention,” said Malley.
The report also highlights the ongoing campaign by the UAE to try to provoke Qatar into an excuse for military action.
Qatar has on multiple occasions campaigned about violations of its airspace by UAE aircraft, and even sent a letter to the UN earlier this year.
This report comes amid a worsening dispute which began in June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade, after accusing Doha of supporting "terrorism". Qatar continues to vehemently reject the allegations as "baseless".
On June 22, the block, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera TV, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.
Qatar rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to violate its sovereignty.