UAE to send 12 planes for Libya no-fly zone

A US official confirmed yesterday that UAE has contributed 12 warplanes to the UN-backed no-fly zone over Libya.

“We are deeply appreciative of their contribution,” the official told AFP on the condition of anonymity. The official however, did not confirm press reports they were six F-16s and six Mirage 2000 aircraft.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States expected “more announcements” of Arab participation in UN-backed military action in Libya in the coming days. This is amid fears that Arab states were slow to contribute.

The 22-member Arab League endorsed the air exclusion zone in which allied warplanes and attacks on Libyan air defenses ground Kadhafi’s air power.

As of Wednesday, Qatar was the only Arab country to have offered warplanes for a no-fly zone. This was five days after the United States, Britain and France launched air strikes to protect Libyans from Moamer Kadhafi’s security forces.

Obama administration officials have said that pledges of Arab political leadership and active participation in a no-fly zone in a fellow Arab country were crucial to the US decision to go ahead with military action in Libya.

Following unpopular US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last decade, US officials had been reluctant launching a US military campaign in a third Muslim country that risked further fueling anti-American sentiment.

 

Source: Google News

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