Egypt Backs Libyan Rebels

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Lankan Ranger, Mar 25, 2011.

Share This Page

  1. Lankan Ranger
    Offline

    Lankan Ranger ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    12,555
    Ratings:
    +0 / 7,964 / -0
    Egypt Backs Libyan Rebels

    Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.

    The shipments—mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition—appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

    The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states’ unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.

    The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response from Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign military intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the 23-member Arab League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

    The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary of intervening militarily without a broad regional and international mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military action in support of the rebels.

    Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating the draft of the resolution, which calls for “all necessary measures” to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.

    Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials said.

    Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi. After pro-Gadhafi forces retook the town of Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV broadcast images of food-aid packages bearing the Qatari flag.

    The White House has been reluctant to back calls from leaders in Congress for arming Libya’s rebels directly, arguing that the U.S. must first fully assess who the fighters are and what policies they will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col. Gadhafi. U.S. officials believe the opposition includes some Islamist elements. They fear that Islamist groups hostile to the U.S. could try to hijack the opposition and take any arms that are provided.

    The Egyptian weapons transfers began “a few days ago” and are ongoing, according to a senior U.S. official. “There’s no formal U.S. policy or acknowledgement that this is going on,” said the senior official. But “this is something we have knowledge of.”

    Calls to Egypt’s foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of reaching Egypt’s military for comment. A Egyptian official in Washington said he had no knowledge of weapon shipments.

    Egyptian Military Arming Libyan Rebels | FrumForum
  2. illuzioN
    Offline

    illuzioN FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    351
    Ratings:
    +0 / 141 / -0
    Awesome news

    our investment in this god forsaken region is finally paying off.

    peace and freedom cannot come soon enough in this world