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Gulf defence budgets fall further as fiscal pressures bite

Even while heavily engaged in conflicts on multiple fronts, the region’s governments have continued to reduce their defence spending over the past year; 2017 was the second consecutive year of falls across the region, despite the drive to push Islamic State (IS or Daesh) out of Iraq and Syria, Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) powers’ involvement in the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen, diplomatic tensions centred on Qatar and Iran, and a series of large orders for military equipment placed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among others.

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