UAE and Egypt Strikes in Libya Not Helpful, Says DOD

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Tuesday confirmed reports the United Arab Emirates and Egypt carried out airstrikes against Islamist militias in Libya without US support. However, he declined to give further details on “diplomatic discussions” on the matter. Kirby said one strike occurred last week, and at the time it was “unclear” who conducted it. A second strike followed this past weekend on targets around Tripoli, he said. The US and several allies issued a statement on Monday denouncing foreign interference, and Kirby said the US believes Libya is already a “tenuous security environment” and unilateral military actions by other countries will not help resolve the fractured internal politics of the country. “We want the situation resolved … through politics, and we discourage other countries from taking a part in Libya’s issues through violence,” Kirby said. UAE officials have neither confirmed nor denied their role in the attacks. The UAE fields one of the most modernized air forces in the region, and has a well-equipped fleet of F-16E/F Block 60 aircraft as well as aerial refueling capability.