Qatar has significantly increased their imports of weapons since 2015, which has now made them one of the biggest importer of weapons in the world. In fact, the Middle East has dominated the imports of weapons for a decade with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar turning out to be major buyers.
Qatar made it to the list for the first time in 2015 after importing in a big way from France (which included a $7.1 billion contract for 24 Dassault Rafale aircraft), the USA (which included purchasing 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters for $2.4 billion) and Italy (which included the sale of various vessels and missiles to the Qatar Navy).
“Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions,” Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said in February.
Reports of SPIRI show that Qatari arms imports went up by 282% between 2012 and 2016.
The Saudi-led bloc severed ties with Qatar on June 5 after accusing it of supporting terrorism, which was denied by Qatar.