Defence CommitteeFurther written evidence from Squadron Leader Rt Snare RAF (Retd) FRAeS

German abstention from supporting UN Resolution goes some way to underline the unsatisfactory nature of the coalition of forces cobbled together to establish and enforce the no fly zone over Libya. Everything was dependent on having the Arab League to sign up to the Resolution.

So far no one seems to have questioned whom the Arab League is representing, or questioned its membership. It does not present a very wholesome picture when you become aware that Libya itself was a member and that among the other states are Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has sent its troops over the causeway to help suppress the Shia uprising in Bahrain. Iran, which is predominantly (65%) Shia majority has already caused this act an “invasion”.

Syria is currently suppressing uprisings in Deraa and Yemen is now in a state of flux as the President desperately tries to cling on to power.

It would appear that the Monarchies ranging from Morocco, through Saudi Arabia to Bahrain (Al Khalifah) and Qatar (Al Thani) are the principle supporters. So where will the will to make Saudi Arabia withdraw from Bahrain come from? There is so much hypocrisy around, it is not impossible that support for the Resolution will simply mean a quid pro quo for not enforcing redress of the Bahrain situation.

It was a very difficult decision to make to try and stop the complete conquest of Benghazi, the humanitarian situation was desperate, but this really should have been left to the Arab nations to resolve. It is also arguable that Italy, with its oil Company ENI a major player and subject to massive migration from the north African States should have assumed the leadership on this issue. Britain in particular has now become embroiled in a bleak situation for which there is no easy solution.

The real flash point will be Bahrain if steps are not taken urgently to stop the killing immediately. Iran has long held claim to Bahrain, and its Shi'ite majority will take action against the Sunni Al Khalifah monarchy, probably supplying weapons in the first instance.

October 2011

Prepared 7th February 2012