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Qatar became the first Arab country to grant political recognition to the Libyan rebels. Qatar was also the first Arab state to commit six Mirage fighter jets to fly with coalition forces against the Gaddafi regime. Shortly afterwards, the United Arab Emirates also said it has committed six F-16 and six Mirage fighters to help enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

 

Qatari-government sponsored Al Jazeera TV has been supportive of the rebels since the start of the riots.

 

Whilst Arab countries were generally united in their condemnation of the Gaddafi regime, the passing of UN Resolution 1973 received condemnation from various countries and from Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League.

 

Gaddafi vowed to 'get crazy' in response to any foreign attack against his forces.

 

Meanwhile, the Libyan rebels agreed a plan to sell rebel-held oil to buy weapons and other supplies from Qatar, a rebel official announced.

 

March 16-31, 2011

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

Whilst the decision by the Qatar and the UAE to proactively support the Libyan rebels may be means to assert regional influence and provide political cover to possible military intervention elsewhere, the intervention raises the risk level of risks faces by Qatar, and to a lesser degree the UAE. There are no direct threats from Libya or Libyan agents, however, Gaddafi has threatened retaliation against countries who take part in the bombing, and has singled Qatar out.

 

The intervention raises the possibility of retaliatory action by agents of the Libyan regime in Qatar or against Qatari interests overseas. Past actions of Gaddafi, such as the Lockerbie bombing, may point to acts against civilian infrastructure.

 

The risk of such a threat remains in place until the Gaddafi regime collapses and neutralized.