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US and Qatari special operations units conduct strike on mock terrorist cell

A United States Air Force Para rescue Airman attached to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and a Qatar Joint Special Forces Soldier discuss the way ahead during an Invincible Sentry 2019 training scenario near Zekreet, Qatar, March 24. US Central Command used IS19 to evaluate the capabilities of its subordinate units to mitigate crises within the region. (Staff Sgt. Brandon McIntosh/U.S. Army)
March 30, 2019
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U.S. Special Forces troops completed a joint crisis response exercise with their Qatari counterparts this week, including a simulated strike on a terrorist network in the Persian Gulf country, which is home to U.S. Central Command’s forward headquarters facility and Combined Air Operations Center.

About 200 U.S. troops and 400 Qatari Joint Special Forces and Internal Security Forces took part in the weeklong exercise Invincible Sentry 2019, Special Operations Command Central said in a statement.

The bilateral exercise, which took place at military training areas and remote locations throughout Qatar, involved scenarios in which Qatari officials requested assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Doha in response to a transnational security threat.

The goal for the exercise, one of 80 that CENTCOM conducts with regional partners each year, is to increase awareness of the special operations capabilities of the United States and its allies and to improve their ability to work together, the military said.

“What we (Green Berets) bring to the fight, by doing everything with and through our partners, is a capability that far outweighs our small teams,” said Maj. William Krebs, an Army Special Forces commander quoted in the statement. “We’d like to think some conflicts will never come to fruition because of our persistent engagement at key locations around the world.”

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Working side-by-side, U.S. and Qatari special operations units carried out a combined strike on a simulated terrorist network as part of this year’s exercise. Moving through a town, the two forces infiltrated their objective and took down the terrorists, the statement said.

Under an agreement signed in 1992, Qatar hosts up to 10,000 U.S. forces personnel at its military facilities, including Al Udeid Air Base, a Congressional Research Service report said in 2017.

The country has also supported U.S. and coalition military operations in the region, to include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the anti-Islamic State fight in Iraq and Syria. Doha has also recently hosted several rounds of peace talks between U.S. and Taliban representatives aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan, now in its 18th year.

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© 2019 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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