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Watch: Qatari jets intercept UAE aircraft

Bahrain state television aired radar footage of incident involving Emirates flight No. EK837

Image Credit: Archive
A view of the Bahrain International Airport

Dubai: Bahrain on Tuesday released radar tracks showing Qatari fighter jets passing by Emirati commercial airliners on their way to the island nation.

Bahrain state television aired radar footage showing Emirates flight No. EK837 from Dubai flying toward Bahrain International Airport at 3,170 meters (10,400 feet). Two other radar signals the broadcaster described as Qatari fighter jets flew at around 2,590 meters (8,500 feet) in front of the Emirates flight. The radar screen briefly flashes orange text, likely a collision warning.

The broadcaster also aired footage of an aeronautical chart it said showed a Qatari fighter jet flying across the flight path of a just-passed Etihad airliner, both at 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). It identified the flight as ETD23B, which corresponds to Flight No. EY371, a direct Abu Dhabi-Bahrain flight that took off Monday morning.

In another development, the UAE has given its response to the United Nations, refuting allegations by Qatar that UAE military aircraft violated Qatari airspace. 

Earlier in the day, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Saif Al Suwaidi said UAE will lodge a complaint against Qatar for violating the Chicago Convention, which governs the use of airspace, in a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),

Al Suwaidi said two Qatari war planes twice flew dangerously close to the UAE airliners as they descended towards Bahrain International Airport in separate incidents on Monday, and could be seen by the pilots and passengers.

"It's a very obvious violation," he said by phone.

Al Suwaidi said the UAE aircraft had been intercepted in air space managed by Bahrain

Al Suwaidi said that Bahraini radar had determined the fighter jets originated and returned from Doha, and pilots of the UAE commercial planes had identified the aircraft as Mirage war planes, which are used by several Arab air forces, including Qatar's.

Al Suwaidi said he was confident that ICAO could stop Qatar from repeating Monday's incidents but that the UAE could consider to re-routing its flights as a precautionary step.

Asked if the UAE would consider escorting civilian aircraft, Suwaidi that the UAE could "use different tools to protect its airlines."  

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