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U.S. building missile defense site in Qatar: report

(Xinhua)

09:08, July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Department is building a missile defense radar station in Qatar, and construction was due to be completed this month, U.S. media reported on Tuesday.

According to a report on the website of the Wall Street Journal, the radar site is part of a system designed to defend U.S. interests and allies such as Israel and European countries against Iran's arsenal of ballistic missiles.

The radar base in Qatar is slated to house an AN/TPY-2 radar, supplementing two similar arrays already in place in Israel's Negev Desert and in central Turkey, the report quoted officials as saying. Together, the three radar sites form an arc that U.S. officials say can detect missile launches from northern, western and southern Iran.

Those sites will enable U.S. officials and allied militaries to track missiles launched from deep inside Iran, according to the report. The radars are linked to missile-interceptor batteries throughout the region and to U.S. ships with high-altitude interceptor rockets.

The paper also said the Pentagon chose to place the new radar site in Qatar because it is home to the largest U.S. military air base in the region, Al Udeid Air Base. More than 8,000 troops are stationed there and at another U.S. base in Qatar.

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