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US denies ‘high alert’ at Al-Udeid, Arab News source confirms it

By   /  February 12, 2018  /  Comments Off on US denies ‘high alert’ at Al-Udeid, Arab News source confirms it

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Author: ARAB NEWSMon, 2018-02-12 22:37ID: 1518453916731224100JEDDAH: Arab News has been asked by the US State Department to correct a story published on Feb. 10 reporting an increased state of alert at Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar. However, given the confirmed information it obtained before publishing, Arab News stands by the story.
We reported that the base, the main US air and military HQ in the Middle East, implemented exceptional heightened measures amid rising tension after an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down over Syria on Saturday.
In response to the US request for a correction, Arab News asked the US State Department official who made the request if there had been any change in status at the base, any situation meetings, or any examination of possible engagement scenarios after the Israeli jet was shot down.
In a written statement, Capt. AnnMarie Annicelli of US Air Force Central Command Public Affairs at Al-Udeid, replied: “US Air Force Central Command is aware of news reports asserting Al-Udeid Air Base was placed on high alert following an incident in which Israel shot down a drone over its territory and one of their F-16s went down. At no time did the command or base go on a heightened state of alert. This incident highlights the dangers coalition aircrews have faced for nearly four years as they carry out air operations to enable the defeat of Daesh, flying over one of the most dangerous integrated air defense systems in the world. We are well aware of the dangers these systems pose and take necessary precautions and measures to mitigate the risks to our aircrew and aircraft.”
Capt. Annicelli’s statement did not answer most of the questions put by Arab News.
The source for our report, a Gulf intelligence officer who has asked for, and been granted, anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his role, confirmed that while the heightened alert status at Al-Udeid was not made public, there was increased activity and extra measures in place after the Israeli jet was shot down.
“These arrangements were made in response to the strike, and the fact that the US officials would not answer your questions should be enough to tell you what really happened,” the source said.
Arab News asked for further comment from the US, but officials declined to add to their statement.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Qatar CrisisAl-Udeid air baserelated_nodes: US military base in Qatar on alert after Israeli jet shot down over SyriaUK presses fraud charges against Barclays over Qatar loanLouvre museum denies Qatar claims of investigation in map row

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