The row over the airstrikes of Egypt on Islamic State strongholds in Libya has resulted in the recall of Qatar’s ambassador in Egypt. Egypt’s airstrikes came in retaliation to an incident of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya, the last week.
IS terrorists have been tightening their grip over Libya, and have seized Sirte University on Thursday in addition to taking control of the state radio, other government establishments, and buildings in the coastal city, as per the eye witnesses. Sirte is the hometown of the former dictator Moamer Gaddafi, and the stronghold of Ansar al-Shana which has been categorized as a terrorist organization by the U.N. The group is widely believed to have links with IS. The release of a video online showing the beheading incident going viral, prompted Egypt to launch air attacks on IS targets in the city of Derna, Libya. Qatar had other opinion on the beheading incident, and expressed its reservations at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo over Egypt’s airstrikes in Libya. Qatar’s stand evoked the ire of Tareq Abdel, Egyptian representative, who strongly opposed Qatar, and accused it of aiding and abetting terrorism. The Gulf state, Qatar, responded to the Egyptian outburst by the recall of its ambassador from Cairo.
The spat came in the wake of Libyan officials’ appeal to the UN Security Council for the lifting of the arms embargo on the country to combat the growing menace of terrorism there and neighboring countries Syria and Iraq. Barack Obama, the US President, exhorted Middle Eastern nations to stand against the violent extremism. He urged all to reject terrorism in all its forms. Most of the Arab nations including Qatar and Egypt are parts of an US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria and Iraq where terrorists have been dominating by declaring Caliphate across a vast territory controlled by them. The rift between Egypt and Qatar may complicate matter, and be detrimental to the joint efforts against the jihadists.