Four Arab nations cut diplomatic ties to Qatar on Monday over its relations with Iran and support of Islamist groups, isolating the tiny energy rich country by cutting off its land, sea and air routes to the outside world.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began withdrawing their diplomatic staff from Qatar as regional airlines quickly announced they’d suspend service to its capital, Doha.
Qatar, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is home to some 10,000 American troops at a major U.S. military base, criticized the move as a “violation of its sovereignty.” However, it immediately wreaked havoc with long-haul carrier Qatar Airways, sent its stock market tumbling and raised questions about how a country reliant on food imports would be affected.
Saudi Arabia also said Qatari troops would be pulled from the ongoing war in Yemen. Yemen’s internationally backed government, which no longer holds its capital and large portions of the country, also cut relations with Qatar.