Reps. Jack Bergman, R-Miss., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, took square aim at Qatar as a chief sponsor of terror in the Middle East in comments on Wednesday, potentially foreshadowing trouble for the Persian Gulf emirate, WND reported.
“Qatar’s hedging support for extremists to the United States cannot and will not be tolerated,” said Marshall in remarks delivered at a conference sponsored by the Middle East Forum think tank and titled “Qatar: Strategic Ally or Strategic Threat?”
“Their support for violence, terror and bloodshed call into question the American partnership,” the Kansas congressman added.
The United States currently operates an air base in the emirate’s territory, and Marshall hinted that President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could reexamine that arrangement based on the emirate’s dealings with Iran and other regional terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban.
“Secretary Pompeo understands the complexity of this issue and will take appropriate steps,” said Marshall.
Bergman sounded many of the same notes as his colleague from Kansas.
“Qatar is clearly a problematic country, but to this point the United States has not taken enough action,” said the Michigan representative, who served as a three-star Marine general before he was elected to Congress.
Bergman slammed the emirate for a range of nefarious activities, from playing a double game with Iran and terrorist militants, to partnering with Iran, to launching an influence campaign in the U.S. that included the hacking and theft of emails and other communications belonging to American nationals.
He proposed two concrete measures to sanction Qatar. The first step would be the passage of the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act, which would require the State Department to report to Congress on funders of Hamas, the terrorist organization that runs the Gaza Strip. Qatar has poured billions into Gaza and into propping up the Hamas-led government, and these activities could lead to penalties under the proposed law.