Pentagon og State Department bekreftet tirsdag at fly fra Egypt og Emiratene nylig bombet islamistmilitsens posisjoner i Tripoli.
Egypt og Emiratene ønsker ikke at Libya skal bli en failed state under islamistisk herredømme. Da kan landet bli en trussel mot Egypt.
Vanligvis har det vært USA som har gjennomført slike straffeekspedishjoner. Men Obama har signalisert at han ikke ønsker å bli involvert. Dermed tar landene skjeen i egen hånd.
The Pentagon and State Department said on Tuesday for the first time that the air strikes against Islamist fighters in Tripoli were carried out by Egypt and the UAE, which has one of the most powerful air forces in the Middle East.
«We understand there were air strikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt» in Libya, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby also affirmed the strikes, but declined to give details.
Analysts noted that President Barack Obama, who last year called off air strikes on Syria at the last minute, has himself said U.S. allies in the region should play a greater role in tackling local crises.
«In the light of U.S. inaction in Syria, the message is clear, that you have to take care of your own concerns,» said Emirati political scientist Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, stressing that he did not know for sure if the UAE was involved or not.
If the raids were indeed carried out by Egypt and the UAE, it would open a new chapter in inter-Arab relations, said Theodore Karasik, research director at Dubai think tank INEGMA.
«The feeling is that America hasn’t stood up for its values and policies in the region,» he said, referring to a common Arab view that the U.S. administration has been hesitant in supporting rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
«So these states will now take it upon themselves to act. Ironically, this is, in broad terms, what Washington has been asking them to do – solve their own problems.»
the West may have to get used to a more activist stance by participants in a tussle for influence pitting Egypt and most of the conservative Gulf Arab states against Islamist-friendly Qatar, Sudan and non-Arab Turkey and Iran.
«The important point here is that regional forces are taking their own path to supporting proxies,» said Karasik. «This is the result of the region wanting to police itself without waiting for extra-regional decisions.»