An international “Shield” operation for the World Cup in Qatar

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An international “Shield” operation for the World Cup in Qatar

France is not the only one to provide technical and operational support to Qatar in terms of security during the World Cup. The small emirate has concluded cooperation agreements with a dozen other countries on the occasion of the tournament. On October 20, a month before the start of the competition, Doha conducted a five-day preparatory exercise, with its various partners, to assess its responsiveness in the event of emergency situations on its soil. An exercise in which also participated, among others, American, British, German, Italian, Saudi, Pakistani, Palestinian or Turkish experts.

The deployment of forces ensuring the security of the tournament has been dubbed “Operation World Cup Shield” by Turkey. This “shield” (shield in original version) notably includes the dispatch, by Ankara, of 3,000 riot police, 100 members of the special forces and a warship to Doha. A large contingent of 4,500 Pakistani soldiers is also present on the peninsula. The United States, which has a large military base in Qatar (the largest in the Middle East), has signed several technical cooperation agreements with its “major ally”.

32,000 government security agents deployed

These agreements provide for the “contribution of the American armed forces” securing the event, as well as police and customs cooperation between the US Department of Homeland Security and the Qatari Ministry of the Interior “in the control of passengers, cargo and baggage”, “detection of fraudulent documents and suspicious travellers” and “Hamad International Airport Security”in Doha.

A former British protectorate, Qatar will also benefit from assistance from the United Kingdom, particularly in the air, under a defense agreement between the two countries, consolidated in April 2021. The Royal Air Force has deployed several fighter planes on site, in support of the emirate’s air fleet, within a joint squadron.

NATO had also announced, at the end of June, in a press release, its “support for World Cup security” as part of a “close cooperation” between Qatar and the Atlantic Alliance. A ” support “ which includes “personal protection training (VIP) »but also to “countering the threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances [et] improvised explosive devices ».

32,000 government security agents and 17,000 private security agents have been trained in the emirate for the competition, under the control of Qatar 2022. The gas monarchy has also called on hundreds of its civilian nationals to manage the guidance, the lines queuing and searching of supporters at the entrance to tournament venues. An exceptional mobilization considered as a “patriotic duty” by Qatar.

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