Egypt Strikes Islamic State Targets in Libya

libya0

Airstrikes follow release of video purportedly showing the beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians

Matt Bradley and Tamer El-Ghobashy report: Egypt’s air force struck multiple Islamic State targets near the eastern coastal city of Derna in Libya on Monday morning following the release of a video that purportedly showed the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians—a development that threatens to push Libya’s worsening internal conflict beyond the country’s borders.

A spokesman for Egypt’s military said Egyptian aircraft had targeted Islamic State training camps and weapons and ammunitions stores in a bombing raid around dawn. The planes returned to their bases in Egypt safely, the spokesman said in a post on his Facebook page.

“We assure that we will take revenge for Egyptian blood and that taking punishment against criminal killers is our right and duty.”

The announcement was accompanied by video footage that the spokesman said showed Egyptian fighter jets taking off at night in preparation for airstrikes on “ISIS in Libya,” according to text accompanying the video.

“We assure that we will take revenge for Egyptian blood and that taking punishment against criminal killers is our right and duty,” an announcer said in an official Egyptian military video posted on the same Facebook page.

“There will be more coordinated airstrikes in the future with Libya and Egypt operating side by side.”

Omar al Sinki, the minister of the interior in Libya’s Tobruk-based government, said Egypt’s air force had struck 7 targets in Derna early Monday. He added that the strikes had been coordinated with the anti-Islamist forces based in eastern Libya and that General Khalifa Haftar, the nominal leader of those forces, was in Cairo on Monday “coordinating” with Egypt’s armed forces and that the campaign would be sustained.

“There will be more coordinated airstrikes in the future with Libya and Egypt operating side by side,” he said

A spokesman for Egypt’s defense ministry declined to comment on Monday beyond what the military posted on Facebook, although a news conference was planned for later Monday.

Saqer al Joroushi, the commander of Libya’s air force, was quoted by Egyptian state media saying “at least 50” militants had been killed in the airstrikes, in addition to several being arrested. He said Egypt had conducted the strikes “with full respect to the sovereignty of Libya.” He also said Libya wouldn’t allow any ground operations by the Egyptian armed forces.

He separately told the Saudi Arabia-owned Al Arabiya television station that Libya’s own air forces had launched attacks on Islamic State targets in the coastal city of Sirte, a stronghold of those loyal to ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and nearby towns. However, a resident of Sirte said he had seen no evidence of an aerial attack on the city.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Libya Dawn, a more moderate Islamist group that controls the Libyan capital Tripoli, “deplored the violation of sovereignty” and said children had been killed in bombing of Derna. Read the rest of this entry »


Mistrust Haunts Obama’s Saudi Trip

obama-pinched

Riyadh (AFP) – US President Barack Obama meets Saudi King Abdullah Friday as mistrust fuelled by differences over Iran and Syria overshadows a decades-long alliance between their countries.

Obama, who is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia late in the afternoon on a flight from Italy, is expected to hold evening talks with the monarch on a royal estate outside Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has strong reservations about efforts by Washington and other major world powers to negotiate a deal

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Rawdat al-Khuraim, on January 5, 2014 (AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Rawdat al-Khuraim, on January 5, 2014 (AFP)

with Iran on its nuclear programme.

It is also disappointed over Obama’s 11th-hour decision last year not to take military action against the Syrian regime over chemical weapons attacks.

Saudi analyst Abdel Aziz al-Sagr, who heads the Gulf Research Centre, said Saudi-US relations are “tense due to Washington’s stances” on the Middle East, especially Iran.

The recent rapprochement between Tehran and Washington “must not take place at the expense of relations with Riyadh,” Sagr told AFP.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, long wary of Shiite Iran’s regional ambitions, views a November deal between world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme as a risky venture that could embolden Tehran. Read the rest of this entry »


The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!

Why we shouldn’t care that the world’s most irresponsible country is displeased at the U.S.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh, May 2012. Fayez Nureldineafp / AFP / Getty Images

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz  / AFP / Getty Images

Fareed Zakaria writes:  America’s middle east policies are failing, we are told, and the best evidence is that Saudi Arabia is furious. Dick Cheney, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have all sounded the alarm about Riyadh’s recent rejection of a seat on the U.N. Security Council. But whatever one thinks of the Obama Administration’s handling of the region, surely the last measure of American foreign policy should be how it is received by the House of Saud.

If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom’s immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its Wahhabi clerics. Read the rest of this entry »


Breaking the Taboo: Saudi Men Assisting in Campaign to Allow Women to Drive

An image from a video uploaded by Saudi activists on YouTube on Oct. 26, 2013 allegedly shows a fully veiled woman driving in Riyadh during a planned nationwide day of defiance of the ban on women driving. Only a few Saudi women braved official threats of punishment and got behind the wheel in defiance of a ban on driving, but organisers say their campaign will continue. Photograph by: DSK , AFP/Getty Images

An image from a video uploaded by Saudi activists on YouTube on Oct. 26, 2013 allegedly shows a fully veiled woman driving in Riyadh during a planned nationwide day of defiance of the ban on women driving. Only a few Saudi women braved official threats of punishment and got behind the wheel in defiance of a ban on driving, but organizers say their campaign will continue.    Photograph by: DSK , AFP/Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A growing number of men are quietly helping steer a campaign to end Saudi Arabia’s ban on allowing women to drive, risking their jobs and social condemnation in the conservative kingdom. [See below: VIDEO – CNN’s Mohammed Jamjoom report: ‘Women Drive for Change‘]

Some of the men have even been questioned by authorities, and one was detained by a branch of the Saudi Interior Ministry — a move that sent a chill through some of the activists working to put women behind the wheel.
On Saturday, more than 60 women said they defied the ban, although they faced little action from police.
Read the rest of this entry »

Here and Abroad, Obama’s Partners are Concluding they Cannot Trust Him

Obama’s Credibility Is Melting

© Images.com/Corbis

                                                                                                                           © Images.com/Corbis

The collapse of ObamaCare is the tip of the iceberg for the magical Obama presidency.

Daniel Henninger  writes:  From the moment he emerged in the public eye with his 2004 speech at the Democratic Convention and through his astonishing defeat of the Clintons in 2008, Barack Obama’s calling card has been credibility. He speaks, and enough of the world believes to keep his presidency afloat. Or used to.

All of a sudden, from Washington to Riyadh, Barack Obama’s credibility is melting.

Amid the predictable collapse the past week of HealthCare.gov’s too-complex technology, not enough notice was given to Sen. Marco Rubio‘s statement that the chances for success on immigration reform are about dead. Why? Because, said Sen. Rubio, there is “a lack of trust” in the president’s commitments. Read the rest of this entry »


Man Crashes Car Into Home of Father’s Secret Second Wife

This seems like it will require a lot of therapy to get past

cheating-for-web

 reports: There’s a riskiness to performing death-defying stunts in your fancy car, but one Saudi man’s taste for danger nabbed him more than he bargained for: he crashed his car into a home that his father secretly shared with his second wife.

According to Emirates 24/7, a Dubai-based news web site, the man was performing a high-speed car stunt in Riyadh when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the back garden of a nearby home. Unbeknownst to him, his father was sitting in that very garden, which was owned by the father’s second wife whose existence was unknown to the son.

The unnamed newspaper cited by Emirates 24/7 reported that the father suffered “light injuries” from the wreck, and the son fled the scene after learning the truth.

@jessicakroy TIME.com