The Case For A Public Enquiry On The War In Libya

Moreover, a massive $400million worth of arms was provided to the rebels by Britain’s ally, Qatar, much of which went to the Islamist radicals. Qatar also sent hundreds of troops to fight on the frontline and to provide infantry training to Libyan fighters in the western Nafusa mountains and in eastern Libya. Much of Qatar’s support went to the 17 February Martyrs Brigade, one of the most influential rebel formations led by Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, a leading member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who became the rebel military commander in Tripoli.

It is inconceivable that Qatar’s military support for Libyan Islamists was not known to British ministers, and backed by them, as they consistently supported Qatar’s prominent role in the campaign against Gadaffi, alongside deepening military and commercial cooperation. Indeed, Qatar’s chief-of-staff, Major-General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya, later said: ‘We acted as the link between the rebels and Nato forces’. Qatar also played a key role alongside Britain in the ‘Libya contact group’ that coordinated policy against the Gadaffi regime; the first meeting of the group, in April 2011, for example, was convened by Qatar and co-chaired by Britain in Doha.

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