The ins and outs of the drama surrounding the high turn-over rate within the Trump administration is one always wrought with speculation, and yet never fails to fascinate. In the latest saga, former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson apparently persuaded Saudi Arabia to give up plans to invade Qatar, American media reported on Wednesday.
Tillerson stepped in to prevent secret plans for an invasion led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United Arab Emirates, to conquer Qatar. The information circulating in US media is based on a source from US intelligence and two officials from the US State Department. FRN is still working to verify these reports, should those sources later be named, but such verifications due to the practice of anonymous ‘off record’ statements are the norm, not the exception, in US media reportage.
The report first ran on the US’s ‘Intercept’, run by Glen Greenwald. Problematically, FRN has determined The Intercept/Greenwald is a limited hangout, an opportunist, and a gatekeeper, given a free pass to continue his work while genuine media such as FRN faces continual shadowbans and algorithmic blacklisting.
This, according to the leak, would be one of the reasons for the resignation of Rex Tillerson.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain in June 2017 severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, whom they accuse of supporting terrorism. The same countries also closed the borders with Qatari territory.
In time, Qatar’s intelligence discovered the invasion plans and alerted Rex Tillerson, according to the story.
From there, the story goes, Tillerson made a series of calls to influence Saudi officials to cancel military action against Qatar. These links have been justified by the government as a way to reverse the diplomatic breakdown that suddenly involved Qatar.
The text also indicates that Tillerson acted a few months before US and UK officials confirmed these invasion plans.
The Saudi government hoped to invade Qatar by ground across the border with Saudi Arabia. The troops, with the military support of the United Arab Emirates, would advance to Doha, the Qatari capital.
Invading troops planned to go around the Al-Udeid Air Force Base, where 10,000 US troops are serving, and then take over Doha.
This most likely would have been a disastrous failure as Turkey also has a military base in Qatar and is a close ally of the monarchical regime. In addition, Iran could have been embroiled in this conflict as it is now a close partner of the micro-kingdom, and is a major supplier of food products to Qatar.