MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir’s statement, in which he said that Qatar should send troops to Syria to ensure US military aid, is nothing but blackmail, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Defense and Security Committee member Frants Klintsevich told reporters on Wednesday.
Al-Jubeir’s statement followed another one made by US President Donald Trump, who pointed out that "we've spent $7 trillion in the Middle East and we've got nothing for it. Nothing, less than nothing."
"The Saudi foreign minister’s statement is nothing more but blackmail," Klintsevich said. "Saudi Arabia is pushing Qatar to take illegal actions," he added.
At the same time, he was doubtful that the United States really planned to withdraw from Syria any time soon, despite Trump’s statements. "Saudi Arabia probably wants Qatar to join the operation alongside the US and not take its place, which is even stranger because Riyadh cannot but understand that it will only increase chaos and lead to new needless deaths," the Russian senator said, adding that in his view, the Saudis actually had other goals "that they prefer not to talk about."
Qatar hosts the United States’ Al Udeid Air Base, the largest in the Middle East, where 11,000 US and US-led coalition forces are deployed.