Submitted by Defense & Foreign Affairs via OilPrice.com,
It had become clear by late August 2014 that Libya could no longer be seen as a unified state; at best it was in two parts, even with the communal leaderships of both sides professing a desire to resume national unity. By late August 2014, the country had two parliaments: one elected by the Libyan people, and the other given legitimacy solely by foreign support.
The situation seemed so intractable by that point that it was possible that a full military intervention by regional states, perhaps spearheaded by Egypt, could be attempted, with the goal of stabilizing the country and eliminating the foreign-funded and foreign-armed jihadis who were using Libya as a springboard for a proposed pro-Islamist war against the current Egyptian Government.
The proxy forces of the 2011 unilateral intervention by Qatar, supporting jihadis and the Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan), and by Turkey and the US, into the Cyrenaican revolt against Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, were still dominating the Libyan political scene, much to the frustration of Libyan tribal forces.
Qatar was creating a “Free Egyptian Army” in the Cyrenaica desert, and patterned on the “Free Syrian Army” which Qatar, Turkey, and the US had built to challenge Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Significantly, while the US and European Union (EU) continued in August 2014 to promote the concept of a unified Libya, they were basing their approach around what was essentially a modification of the mode of governance practiced by Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, who seized power by a coup in 1969, and held it until 2011. Widespread Libyan calls for a return to the 1951 Constitution — drafted by the United Nations and the 140 or so Libyan tribes — have been consistently ignored by Washington and Brussels.
By August 2014, the foreign jihadist fighters — mainly linked to salafist groups and either directly or indirectly working with the Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan) — were still entrenched in Cyrenaica, in Eastern Libya (where the local moderate. anti-salafist Senussiyah sect of Islam predominates), supported by Qatar, Turkey, and the US Government. As well, they were entrenched around Tripoli.
By August 18, 2014, the situation had deteriorated to the point where United Arab Emirates (UAE) combat aircraft, operating from Egyptian bases, conducted air strikes against jihadist militia forces around Tripoli, without prior warning to the US. The operation was also coordinated with the Government of Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force aircraft staged over the Kingdom, en route to Egypt, using UAE AF Airbus A330 MRTT aerial refueling aircraft to reach, it is understood, Mersa Ma- truh Air Base or another forward Egyptian Air Force base, from which the strikes were then made on the Libyan targets.