Dubai: The UAE on Friday committed six F-16
and six Mirage aircraft to the west-led military campaign to
enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, becoming the second Arab
state after Qatar to join the UN-authorised mission.
UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al
Nahyan said in a statement that his country is expanding its
participation in Libya beyond humanitarian operations.
"In support of UN resolution 1973, the UAE is fully
engaged in humanitarian operations in Libya. As an extension
of those humanitarian operations, the UAE Air Force has
committed six F16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in
the patrols that will enforce the no-fly zone now established
over Libya," Shaikh Abdullah said.
In the statement carried by the national WAM news
agency, he said UAE`s participation in the patrols will begin
in the coming days.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the UAE
will deploy 12 planes to help the mission to protect civilians
in Libya as she thanked the country for agreeing to send
planes to aid the military operation against Muammar Gadhafi`s
Qatar, which has already contributed two fighter
planes and two military transport planes to the operation, is
expected to start flying air patrols over Libya this weekend.
No other members of the 22-member Arab League have so
far committed an active role in Libya.
"The United States welcomes this important
contribution by the United Arab Emirates to the enforcement of
UN Security Council Resolution 1973 in Libya, the White House
Overcoming differences within, NATO has also agreed to
take over command of the no-fly zone.