Tripoli Bombing Is 'Game-Changer' in Fight Against ISIS

Egypt, UAE teaming up for airstrikes is an Arab milestone: Quartz writer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2014 5:37 PM CDT
Tripoli Bombing Is 'Game-Changer' in Fight Against ISIS
In this July file photo, smoke billows over the Tripoli skyline as a fire at the airport's oil depot rages out of control after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ben Khalifa)

(Newser) – Neither nation is admitting it exactly, but it seems that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates joined forces earlier this month to bomb sites held by Islamist militants inside Libya. This is actually a huge milestone in the Arab world, writes Bobby Ghosh at Quartz, and one that should cause concern among militants fighting for the Islamic State, or ISIS. "Why is it a game-changer?" writes Ghosh. "Because it marks the first time two Arab nations have teamed up to launch military operations against Islamists in a third."

What's more, "it was the first time two Sunni Muslim nations struck radical Sunni groups in a third Sunni country." With the precedent now set, these two nations and others could be emboldened to form a coalition to go after the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Considering that other Sunni Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Jordan have plenty of US aircraft in their arsenals, such a coalition could be powerful indeed. The idea of doing anything to help Syria's Bashar al-Assad may give pause, but "the taboo on intervention has been lifted." Click for Ghosh's full column. (Read more Libya stories.)

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