SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – US officials have claimed the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were behind several air strikes on militias in Libya last week, in what would be an escalation of a regional power-play between militants and opposing governments across the Middle East.
UAE pilots flying out of Egyptian airbases allegedly twice targeted militants to take control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, last week, US officials claimed to the New York Times, and later to the AFP news agency. Speaking to the Guardian, a US official confirmed the reports were plausible.
The strikes’ alleged origins suggest a block of Middle Eastern countries led by the UAE are seeking to escalate their opposition to the movements that have sought to undermine the region’s old order since the start of the Arab spring in 2011. If the US allegations are true, both countries now want to expand their campaign beyond their borders, seeking to curb the rise of Brotherhood-affiliated militias threatening to take over Libya. The move could turn Libya into a proxy war between the country’s elected government, backed by UAE and Egypt, and militants backed by Qatar, another Persian Gulf state.