UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept commercial flights, Doha denies


ABU DHABI Jan 16 (TNS): The United Arab Emirates claimed Qatari fighter jets intercepted two of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, allegations denied by Qatar.

The claims could further escalate tensions between Qatar and the four Arab nations that have been boycotting it for months, among them the UAE, home to the world’s busiest international airport. They also could affect long-haul airline travel, as the region’s carriers are a crucial link between the East and West.

It follows two complaints by Qatar to the United Nations about Emirati military aircraft allegedly violating its international airspace amid the diplomatic crisis. The UAE denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, the White House said Donald Trump talked with Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and reiterated his support for unity among Gulf Arab nations.