27 August 2014

Egypt and U.A.E. strike in Libya leaving the Obama administration on the sides

The New York Times reports that according to senior U.S. officials, in a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts, Egypt and The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) have launched two series of airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias in a bid for control over Tripoli, Libya. The first strikes took place on the 18th of August before dawn, with the second being launched on Saturday the 25th .

According to The New York Times, American officials stated that Egypt’s role was to provide bases for the launch of the strikes while the U.A.E. -which, thanks to American equipment and training, boasts one of the most effective air forces in the Arab world- provided the pilots, warplanes and aerial refueling planes necessary for the fighters to bomb Tripoli out of bases in Egypt. However, the same source reports that it remains unclear whether the planes or ammunition were American-made.

The officials told the Times that both Egypt and U.A.E. are close U.S. allies, yet the missions were carried out without informing or seeking consent from Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines.

According to The Washington Post, Egyptian officials, including president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, have explicitly denied any direct action by Egyptian forces in Libya. The U.A.E. has not commented directly on the strikes but came close to denying a role.

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Source: The New York Times | Arab Nations Strike in Libya, Surprising U.S.
Source: The Washington Post | Egypt and UAE strike Islamist militias in Libya

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