- Two Qatari fighter jets flew dangerously close to two civilian planes from the United Arab Emirates, according to the official UAE news agency.
- The United Arab Emirates saw it as “provocative action”.
- The UAE plane was forced to fly at a higher altitude.
Two Qatari fighter jets flew dangerously close to two civilian planes from the United Arab Emirates while in Bahrain’s airspace on Monday, the official United Arab Emirates news agency WAM said citing its authority. of civil aviation.
WAM said the General Civil Aviation Authority condemned the “provocative action” which it said followed two similar incidents that the UAE reported to the Aviation Organization International Civilian (ICAO), the United Nations aviation agency.
The United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar last June, accusing it of supporting the regional enemy, Iran, as well as Islamist extremists. Qatar has denied the accusation and accused the four countries of trying to bring it into line with their foreign policy positions.
In June 2017, Qatar asked ICAO to intervene after its Gulf neighbors closed their airspace to Qatari flights under sanctions.
Bahrain’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that the incident had taken place, claiming that two Qatari fighter jets flew over a UAE Airbus A320 en route from the Emirate of Fujairah to Rome, forcing the United Arab Emirates plane to fly at a higher altitude.
Bahrain said this was the second incident to occur on the same day.
The airline involved was not specified.
The Bahraini agency said in a statement released by the state-owned BNA news agency that the Qatari jets entered the airspace managed by Bahrain without prior authorization, and that the necessary steps had been taken to file a complaint. with ICAO.
Qatari officials were not immediately available for comment.
While the UAE has banned Qatari planes from using their airspace under restrictions, Qatar has not reciprocated.
(Written by Ghaida Ghantous; edited by Mark Heinrich, G Crosse)