Twice in the past seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamic terrorist militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior U.S. officials said.
National Post “We don’t see this as constructive at all,” said one senior U.S. official. The United States was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to U.S. diplomats, the officials said. (Hee, Hee, Hee)
Libya is the latest, and hottest, battleground. Several officials said that U.S. diplomats were fuming about the airstrikes, believing they could further inflame the Libyan conflict at a time when the United Nations and Western powers are seeking a peaceful resolution (to no avail)The strikes are the most high-profile and high-risk salvo unleashed in a struggle for power that has broken out across the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts, putting old-line Arab autocrats against radical Islamists.
Since the military ouster of the Islamist president in Egypt one year ago, the new Egyptian government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have formed a block exerting influence in countries around the region to roll back what they see as a competing threat from Islamists. (They are shunning the United States because of Barack Hussein Obama’s strong support for the Muslim Brotherhood)
Arrayed against them are the Islamist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by friendly governments in Turkey and Qatar, that sprang forward amid the Arab Spring revolts.