US Officials: Egypt, UAE Secretly Attack Libya

Old-school autocrats strike Islamists without US approval

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 25, 2014 3:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes at militias in Libya twice over the last week without Washington's approval, four US officials tell the New York Times. Egypt, in fact, denied any involvement in the attacks. The first strikes came last week in Tripoli, destroying a weapons depot "controlled by Islamist-friendly militias" and blowing up six people, the Times says. The second, on Saturday, struck a warehouse, vehicles, and rocket launchers run by "Islamist-allied militia." Militants rebounded by seizing Tripoli's airport, which was then destroyed by fire yesterday amid strikes by "unidentified war planes," Reuters reports.

The UAE and Egypt had attacked Libya before, US officials say: A military team from Egypt (possibly comprised of Emirates fighters) recently leveled an Islamist camp in Libya. That may have encouraged the UAE and Egypt to think they could attack undetected again, the officials said. The strikes represent a new salvo in the Middle East conflict between Islamists and old-school autocratic leaders, the Times notes. Much Twitter reaction is focusing on how the UAE and Egypt, both close US allies, apparently launched the attacks without calling Washington first, the Atlantic Wire reports. Tweets Yair Rosenberg: "The problem w/ leading from behind is sometimes you get left behind."

Black smoke billows over the skyline as a fire at the oil depot for the airport rages out of control after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias in Tripoli, Libya Monday, July 28, 2014.
Black smoke billows over the skyline as a fire at the oil depot for the airport rages out of control after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias in Tripoli, Libya Monday, July 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ben Khalifa)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
3%
16%
1%
73%
3%
4%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!