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Pentagon denies claimed joint naval exercise with Qatar

Published: Updated:

The USS Chinook, a coastal patrol ship, and US Coast Guard Cutter Baranof both were in Doha on Thursday, said Cmdr. Bill Urban of the US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. He called the trip a “routine port visit.”

Qatar’s state-run news agency claimed the presence as being part of a “joint exercise” with the Qatari navy. Urban later told The Associated Press that the US Navy did “not have a scheduled exercise at this time.”

“U.S. 5th Fleet ships conduct similar port visits throughout the region as part of our normal operations,” Urban said.

Crisis

The crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, all US allies, has put America in a delicate situation.

Mattis has described Qatar as “moving in the right direction,” while US President Donald ‎Trump, repeatedly has accused Doha of funding terrorist groups, one of the main allegations levied by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain when they initially cut diplomatic ties on June 5.