Skip to comments.Tiny Qatar Flexes Muscles In No-Fly Libya Campaign
Posted on 03/28/2011 11:40:53 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Tiny Qatar Flexes Muscles In No-Fly Libya Campaign
by The Associated Press
SOUDA BAY AIR BASE, Greece March 28, 2011, 10:49 am ET In Libya's skies, Qatar is punching above its weight.
From an air base in Crete, the tiny Persian Gulf nation has started its biggest, farthest combat deployment including a third of its fighter-jet fleet and given the first Arab face to the Western-led coalition hoping to protect Libyan civilians from Moammar Gadhafi's firepower.
For the oil- and gas-rich country that brought the world Al-Jazeera TV and recently won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, the effort marks Qatar's latest push onto the world stage.
Punishing air strikes by dozens of coalition aircraft have altered Libya's combat landscape in recent days, allowing the rebel forces to push Monday toward Gadhafi's hometown, Sirte, and along the way to the capital, Tripoli.
"We felt it was important for an Arab country to join and because other Arab countries were not involved militarily, we felt we should," Gen. Mubarak al-Khayanin, the Qatari Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview Sunday at Souda.
"We are physically small country, but with leadership comes responsibility," he said. "Certain countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt haven't taken leadership for the last three years. So we wanted to step up and express ourselves, and see if others will follow."
The 22-member Arab League was a driving force behind the U.N. Security Council decision to impose
(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...
Qatar and French Air Force ground crew prepare a Mirage 2000 jet fighter at Souda Hellenic (Greek) Air Force Base, on Crete, an island of Greece, Sunday, March 27, 2011. Qatar Air Force participates with France Air Force in joint missions to Libya with Mirage 2000 jet fighters from Souda Air Base.
“Certain countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt haven’t taken leadership for the last three years. So we wanted to step up and express ourselves, and see if others will follow.”
God bless them.