Thursday, December 06, 2012

US allowed Qatar to supply weapons to Libya rebellion

The NY Times reports (U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands ) that the US gave Qatar permission to supply the Libyan rebels with weapons. But when the Qatari sent it to radical groups - about which rebel leader Jibril complained - the US had little leverage to influence them.

On Libya:
American officials say that the United Arab Emirates first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the United States had supplied for the emirates’ use. The administration rejected that request, but instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States. [..] Qatar supplied weapons made outside the United States, including French- and Russian-designed arms, according to people familiar with the shipments.

The article has also a puzzling section about Marc Turi, an American arms trader who supplied Libyan rebels via Qatar: The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. “They just handed them out like candy,” he said.

On Syria:
The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration official

The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya

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