Initial reports are coming out of Qatar about an attempt by a military group to overthrow the current ruling elite led by Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
It currently seems that the coup d’etat failed, although other reports say that gunfights are still raging in the palace. Instability in one of the usually stable oil producing countries could send oil priceshigher, and trigger fresh worries.
Qatar is home to to Al Jazeera, perhaps the most influential news outlet in the Middle East, that had a significant role in reporting about the Arab Spring in Middle Eastern and North African countries. During last year’s uprising, there was talk about a day of rage also in Qatar, perhaps ignited by Iranian agents. Eventually nothing happened.
There is also talk that the leaders were flown to hiding by US forces.
FARS News Agency (FNA) reports:
Yet, Qatari officials confirmed lethal clashes between the Royal Guard Forces and a number of military troopers and personnel, the sources added.The limited news reports released by some local and Arab media earlier this week said that the Qatari Emir succeeded over the past weekend to foil a coup attempt against him. They added some 30 senior army officers were detained while some others were put under house arrest.
It seems that Qatar wishes to hide what is happening concerning the power struggle within the royal family and as the Arab world is still engulfed by the “Arab Spring” that began last year.
These reports join the already high tensions in the Persian Gulf around Iran. The large oil producing country is undergoing sanctions due to its nuclear program, and military action by the US and Israel is on the agenda for a long time.