Why are Arab countries so unanimous in their fight with Qatar? Could it lead to a war or a coup d'etat?

A split between Doha and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was brewing for years.

The root of today’s trouble harkens back to 1995, when Emir Tamim’s father, Hamad, ousted his increasingly feckless and absent father from power in Doha. Saudi Arabia and the UAE regarded the family coup as a dangerous precedent to Gulf ruling families and plotted against Hamad. According to a diplomat resident in Doha at the time, the two neighbors organized several hundred tribesmen for a mission to murder Hamad, two of his brothers, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs and energy, and restore the old emir. The UAE even put attack helicopters and fighter aircraft on alert to support the attempt, which never actually happened because one of the tribesmen betrayed the plot hours before it was to take place.

At the heart of the problem lies an irreconcilable difference between the Persian Gulf countries about how to interpret the events of the 2011 Arab Spring and, more important, how to react to them.

In contrast to its GCC neighbors, Qatar actively promoted regime change across the Arab world. The Qataris mobilized finances and offered favorable media coverage to many Islamist actors, including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Gaza, the Ennahda party in Tunisia and myriad militias in Libya and Syria.

In response, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia worked forcefully to block Qatar’s interests in the region, helping to depose Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, funding rival opposition factions in Syria and supporting the government of Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Libya.

With such events as background, any paranoia on the part of Emir Tamim may be justified.

In recent months, Qatar has once again drifted outside the GCC consensus. Particularly galling for the UAE and Saudi Arabia has been Qatar’s interaction with Islamist groups linked closely to the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. Worse still to them are its business dealings with Iranian regional affiliates. In April, Qatar was involved in communications with the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al Sham organization to guarantee population transfers in the country. Qatar appeared to have brokered the deal by communicating with Iran, which in return managed to secure the release of 26 Qataris royals kidnapped in Iraq in return for a princely sum to be paid to Iranian client militia Kataib Hezbollah.

Qatar also helped Hamas publicly rebrand itself— and the group launched its new policy objectives at a Doha hotel in May. Islamist rebranding has been a favored tactic Qatar uses with Syrian opposition groups, particularly the Islamist Ahrar al Sham, and, unsuccessfully, with the leader of the now defunct al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. This attempt to legitimize Islamist groups is an issue the Emiratis in particular find difficult to accept.

For its part, Qatar sees itself as a victim of a plot by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which have had a traditionally antagonistic relationship with Doha despite the shared membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Riyadh views Qatar, which, like the kingdom, gives Wahhabi Islam a central role as a regional troublemaker. Doha, which allows women to drive and foreigners to drink alcohol, in turn blames the Saudis for giving Wahhabism a bad name. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi despises Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the UAE.

Will this lead to a war?

Washington can play an important role in defusing this potentially explosive situation. U.S. officials may believe that Qatar was being less than evenhanded in its balancing act between the United States and Iran — but a drawn-out conflict between Riyadh and Doha, or a struggle that pushes Qatar into Tehran’s arms, would benefit no one. In this respect, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is arguably well-placed. ExxonMobil, where he was CEO before joining the U.S. government, is the biggest foreign player in Qatar’s energy sector, so he presumably knows the main decision-makers well.

Riyadh and the UAE also seem to be establishing their bona fides as alternative sites for the U.S. forces now at al-Udeid. Their credentials are not as good as they might argue. In 2003, Saudi Arabia pushed U.S. forces out of Prince Sultan Air Base, as Riyadh tried to cope with its own Islamic extremism in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Dhabi already hosts U.S. tanker and reconnaissance aircraft, but it would take time to establish a fully equipped command center to replace the facility at al-Udeid.

Given this, a war is not probable, however if tensions continue to rise in the next 5 years then they are bound to boil over violently at some point.

Source: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Arab-c...r-a-coup-detat

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