NYT: Obama administration approved Qatar’s arming of Libyan rebels, until they fell into ‘wrong hands’
Qatar apparently shipped weapons to Libya with the secret approval of the United States last year, but American officials grew concerned when the arms were deemed to fall into the hands of the wrong militants, the New York Times reports.
Citing anonymous US officials and foreign diplomats, the NYT states that the Obama administration grew alarmed when it learned that Qatar’s arms were going to “extreme” militant Islamic groups.
According to Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser and now a dean of international studies at John Hopkins University, Qatar would not have shipped the arms if the US opposed the move. But others disagreed, the NYT reports:
“They march to their own drummer,” said a former senior State Department official.
The Libya experience has given the US pause as it considers taking a bigger role in the Syria crisis. Qatar, which has denied arming Syrian rebels, previously said that US intervention would help topple Bashar Al Assad’s government.
Credit: Photo by Mark Skrobola