Qatar - Special Weapons
Qatar showcased a new offensive capability during its national day parade on 15 December 2017. During a military parade on the Doha corniche, the Qatari armed forces showcased new Chinese-made short-range guided ballistic missile launchers.
According to International Institute for Strategic Studies Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace, Douglas Barrie, the SY400 BP-12A missile system displayed by the Qatari armed forces is a surface attack system, an offensive system. “This is a short-range ballistic missile intended to engage static or relocatable ground targets at over 200km range,” Barrie told Al Arabiya English. “Acquired in reasonable numbers such a system would provide a useful surface attack capability,” he added.
The system's range is up to 400km meaning that they are capable of striking targets in Manama, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh. “Qatar's showing off its SY400 one day prior to Trump's National Security Strategy speech was ill conceived,” said Theodore Karasik, Senior Advisor at Washington-based think tank Gulf State Analytics (GSA). “SY400 is an offensive missile with reach that only is against its Arab Gulf neighbors. Qatar effectively is showing the Anti-Terror Quartet that Doha can attack them if necessary,” Karasik told Al Arabiya English.
The purchase seems unlike the Qatari military procurement trends, warned Durham university researcher and advisor to GSA Matthew Hedges. “Qatar has been following a Western-style missile defense procurement, acquiring the British Rapier surface to air missile defense systems, the American PATRIOT systems and recently agreeing to purchase the THAAD missile defense system from the US,” he said. “The official unveiling of the offensively modified SY400 system with the longer range BP-12A launchers illustrates a highly aggressive move on behalf of Doha,” Hedges added.
According to Karasik, talks about Qatar's purchase of the SY400 began in the wake of the 2014 Gulf Cooperation Council dispute with Qatar. At the time, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha. “Between then and now, Doha negotiated successfully with Beijing this unannounced deal. Qatar's under the table dealings with China illustrates again that Doha is not to be trusted,” warned Karasik. “Doha, whose MOD announced a recruitment campaign for air defense forces, is seeking to create a protective bubble,” he added.
On 29 November 2012 the State of Qatar called for implementing all provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This was stated by Qatar’s Ambassador to the Netherlands HE Hamad Bin Ali Al-Henzab who is also his country’s permanet delegate to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which 17th session was opened in The Hague. HE Hamad Bin Ali Al-Henzab affirmed that Qatar while enjoying security, peace and stability is always keen to adhere and fulfill its obligations for securing international peace and security referring to the prominent role Qatar has been playing via attending meetings and gatherings and finance and hosting several activities of the OPCW. The Qatari Diplomat meantime expressed his country’s appreciation to the OPCS parties concerned which accorded their confidence to Qatar that enabled the latter to gain membership of the OPCW’s Executive Council for 2012-2014.
Qatar has presented an initiative to set up a regional center for training on CWC related activities. The said center can also contribute to implementing activities of other conventions, HE Hamad Bin Ali Al-Henzab said.
Qatar hosted the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in March 2015, which marked the very first time that the event was held outside Europe.
Qatar took part in the Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation held 04 June 2017 in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. Qatar's Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani, who represented the State of Qatar at the Conference, has discussed the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East along with other issues with the participation of a number of Arab countries. The establishment of a WMD free zone in the Middle East would contribute to regional and international peace and security, lead to a nuclear-weapon-free world in accordance with article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and bring us closer to the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, HE the Ambassador said.
He stressed the importance of putting into action the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference Resolution on the establishment of the zone, stressing that this resolution shall remain in force until all its objectives were achieved. The implementation of the Middle East resolution according to the mechanism of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is still possible, HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani said, urging the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, the treaty depository powers, to shoulder their responsibility in this respect.
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