RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has threatened to shoot down commercial Qatari airliners in mid-flight, if any of them enter its airspace, according to information released Tuesday by the Al-Arabiya television network.
A Saudi state TV channel aired a video showing a Saudi fighter jet launching a missile against a commercial Qatar Airways passenger airliner.
A voiceover said that ‘according to the international law, a state that bans flights from entering its airspace has the right to deal with the violating plane in any way it wishes’.
The options in this hypothetical case, added Al-Arabiya, either take the form of deploying a fighter jet that forces the airliner whereby the flight crew are then tried on several charges.
Likewise, the voice added that international law also enables states to shoot down any flight that violates a state’s airspace, classing it as a legitimate target.
In early June, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain imposed a commercial and diplomatic blockade on Qatar, closed land borders and blocked Qatar’s airspace.
These four Arab nations imposed 13 demands to return to normal with Doha, including ceasing its alleged support for terror groups, a shutdown of a Turkish military base, closure of the Al-Jazeera TV network and scaling down contacts with Iran.
In view of the siege imposed by Riyadh and its allies, the Qatar Army warned that it will shoot at any vessel belonging to any of those four Arab nations that tries to enter its territorial waters.