The United States has reached an agreement with Qatari officials to maintain American military presence at Al Udeid Air Base, people familiar with negotiations confirmed.
The agreement grants Al Udeid, which can house over 10,000 American troops, another 10 years of operations.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III visited the site in December and thanked the Qatari government for its increased spending on the facility, but he did not mention the extension deal.
The air base, located southwest of Doha, is crucial to U.S. military operations in the Middle East. Al Udeid is the hub for U.S. Central Command’s air operations across the region, including Afghanistan and Iran. Other military forces such as the Qatari and the British air forces also use the location.
Qatar is an important partner to the U.S. in the region. The Gulf country played an role in negotiations over the release of hostages captured by Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks. The nation also aided the safe exit of American citizens and contractors from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over in 2021.