Saudi Arabia Threatens to Shoot Down Qatari Jets, Complete With Animated Simulation
Saudi Arabia issued a chilling warning that it could shoot down a Qatari Airline passenger jet out of the sky if it strayed across the Kingdom's border. The threat, which was broadcast on Al-Arabiya Saudi state TV, justified the attack complete with animated simulation.
Saudi Arabia is one of the four countries in the Persian Gulf, along with Bahrain, Egypt and UAE, that imposed diplomatic, transport, commercial and economic embargo against Qatar for allegedly supporting extremism which Doha vehemently denied. The blockade forced Qatar Airways to cancel 50 flights a day and import food from Iran and Turkey.
Titled "Understanding the Qatar Airways Ban," the video outlined when Saudi Arabia can blow up a Qatari commercial plane. If a passenger jet of Qatar breaches the Kingdom's airspace, a Saudi fighter jet will intercept the aircraft and force it to land so that the crew can be prosecuted.
Another scenario the video showed is the military option. The voiceover explained that "international law" allows the destruction of flights violating the airspace of a sovereign state. The video showed the fighter jet firing a missile at the passenger plane in accordance with international law which gives the state "the right to deal with the violating plane in any way it wishes."
Many people expressed shock and outrage at the video. Netizens took to Twitter to vent their condemnation. But the video's producers said that while the footage showed a missile being released, the airline wasn't hit. This could only mean that the jet merely fired a warning shot.
Moreover, the video also mentioned the emergency corridor which Qatar Airways planes can use. The emergency corridor is a new route that passes through the airspaces of Bahrain and UAE which the airline can access until Nov. 6 this year. Only aircraft heading for Doha can use this airway.