UPDATE: 19 May:
Arab and Egyptian military chiefs meeting in Cairo yesterday, approved an Egyptian-led intervention in Libya. The meeting was attended by the chiefs of staff of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Sudan and the recognized Libyan government.
France will provide logistic support and special forces for the Libyan operation and Italy will provide naval support. The US and Britain may contribute special forces and some aerial bombings.
A meeting of Libyan tribes and the Western recognized Libyan government will be held in days to establish a functioning government for Libya to take over once the radical militias have been destroyed.
Egypt, France, the Vatican and Italy are seeking early military action to destroy Islamic militants threating to overrun all of Libya, and looming as a threat to Egypt, France, the Vatican and Italy, the region and southern Europe.
At present Boko Haram has been defeated in Central Africa and now small groups and scattered individuals are being mopped up. Libya is next on the agenda to be followed by Iraq and Syria.
Israel is expected to soon wage war against the Hamas military wing and other militants in Gaza and against Hezbollah / Syria / Iran. The Yemen situation will resolve itself once Iran is taken out of that equation during the coming regional war.
Pakistan: After months of fighting the militant branch of the Taliban, subsequent to their attack on a Pakistani school; Pakistani troops on Friday began a “massive” offensive to try to push the Taliban from their last major stronghold in the mountainous northwestern region of North Waziristan, moving in from north and south,
The United States and its Gulf allies on Thursday agreed to deepen their military partnership and jointly counter external threats, in the face of Iran’s growing role in the region.
The meetings took decisions on the way forward against the Islamic State and Iran.
Addressing reporters after a Camp David summit with six Gulf leaders, US President Barack Obama said: “I am reaffirming our ironclad commitment to the security of our Gulf partners.
“As we´ve declared in our joint statement, the United States is prepared to work jointly with GCC member states to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state´s territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the UN charter,” he said.
In the statement, the leaders said they agreed “to enhance their work to improve security cooperation, especially on fast-tracking arms transfers, as well as on counter-terrorism, maritime security, cyber security, and ballistic missile defense.”
The US will now deploy its THAAD missile defense system across Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States as set up by John Kerry on his early March visit to the region. The US is also deploying the THAAD to South Korea.
And the statement specifically named Iran, a rival of both Washington and the Sunni-led Gulf Arab monarchies, as one of the threats they would work together to deter.
“The United States and GCC member states oppose and will work together to counter Iran´s destabilising activities in the region,” the statement said.
The White House today announced its intentions to dramatically deepen military ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, saying they will jointly cooperate to deal with “external threats.”
The most dramatic part of this deal is that the White House is likely to add all the GCC nations to the official list of “major non-NATO allies.” (MNNA)
This designation has broad implications on military ties and US provision of advanced arms. Two GCC members, Bahrain and Kuwait, were already MNNAs, but this would be a considerable boost for Saudi Arabia in particular.
The Saudis have been seeking an official US pledge of mutual military defense, and while MNNA theoretically stops a bit short of that, it is likely a distinction without a difference in practice, putting the Saudis and their allies at parity with Israel, Japan, and South Korea.
Top military officials from Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Kuwait, Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, along with Libya, France and Italy will meet in Cairo on 18 May to look at how to bring stability to Libya. The critical meeting in Cairo of Egyptian and Arab defence officials could be one of the final conclaves before Egypt leads an international regional military coalition into Libya to fight against extremists of all stripes but especially the Islamic State (IS).
The Egyptian Arab invasion of Libya was given the green light at the Camp David summit.
The Egyptian-led move, would be in response to a request by the Western recognized Libyan government, and would come one year after General Khalifa Haftar, who is under the tutelage of the Parliament (HOR) and the Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni, declared war against Islamic extremists.
Importantly, Egypt is planning to host another meeting; this one of Libyan tribes later in the month in collaboration with the UN. This meeting, aims to gather a wide-spectrum of Libyan tribes into the coalition against the extremists in Libya, in order to form a stable government in the aftermath of the campaign.
These preparations for Egyptian intervention with Western backing comes as the recognized Libyan government attacks extremists in Benghazi. The city resounded to the sound of aerial bombardment and heavy artillery fire for much of Wednesday as the Libyan National Army (LNA) continued to hit Ansar Al-Sharia positions both in Sabri and south west of the city, in the Garyounis area and at Mreisa.
Cairo is seeking to lead a coalition, with the UN and EU hopefully backing up the military effort from behind the scenes, because it believes now is the time to act against Islamic extremists before bigger, more serious threats emerge from Libya.
A proposed European military action is thought by many to take too long to reach a consensus by the many states that make up the EU and also is not popular with all the sides in the Libyan conflict as it would represent a ‘Western colonial’ act of force.
However, a purely Arab coalition led by Egyptian Forces into Libya is deemed more viable and even necessary to eradicate the IS threat in the country, to the region and for Southern Europe.
The coming Egyptian Arab intervention in Libya is expected to result in attacks in Sinai, and attacks from Sinai and Gaza on Israel. While these attacks on Israel may not be from Hamas, but from the Islamic State and other extremists, they could furnish a Casus Belli for an Israeli operation to completely destroy the Gaza militants.
The situation is ripe in Gaza for such an operation as the Hamas military and political wings are deeply and increasingly divided, with the military wing wanting to continue present policy and the political wing strongly in favor of peace with Israel and genuine reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority.
An Israeli operation to completely defeat Hamas and other extremists in Gaza could pave the way for the entry of foreign peace keeping nation building forces into Gaza, with the approval of the Hamas political wing, in the Kosovo example. That would open the way for the long delayed Palestinian Authority elections in then West Bank and Gaza; and in turn open the door to genuine peace talks with Israel once the present Israeli far right extremist government is changed