Gates: US Libya action does not set a precedent

Libyan rebels near Ajbadiya
© AFP/File Odd Andersen


CAMP MAREZ, Iraq (AFP) – US military action in Libya did not set a precedent for future American intervention in other Middle Eastern countries facing uprisings or unrest, Pentagon chief Robert Gates said on Friday.

“What has made Libya unique is first of all a request, which is unprecedented in my experience, of the Arab League actually asking for an intervention in the Middle East, to take on an Arab government mistreating its own people,” the US defence secretary said.

Gates said the Arab League request was then supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council and bolstered by the United Nations and allies such as Britain and France.

“It’s hard for me to imagine those kinds of circumstances being replicated any place else,” he said during a visit to the Marez Camp US military base in northern Iraq.

After dithering on whether to intervene in Libya to protect insurgents fighting strongman Moamer Kadhafi, the United States led an international coalition that intervened with air power, before handing the lead to NATO.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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