Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel reaffirmed US military ties with Qatar on Tuesday, during a regional tour aimed at shoring up Gulf alliances amid disagreements over policy on Iran and Syria.

Hagel met Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and his minister of state for defence, Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, in Doha where they renewed a defence agreement.

US air force commanders also gave Hagel a tour of the Combined Air Operations Centre, where officers oversee combat aircraft in Afghanistan and track air traffic across the volatile Middle East. […]