Sun April 24, 2011
Middle East

Qatar In Libya: Big Mission For A Small Country

The tiny but influential Arab nation of Qatar was the first Arab state to join the allied effort to stop the bloodshed in Libya. A third of its fighter-jet fleet is now on the Souda air base on the Greek island of Crete. The Qataris, working alongside the French, are helping enforce the NATO-led no-fly zone over Libya.

Two Mirage 2000 jets — one Qatari, one French — rev their engines. The pilots turn the sleek planes onto a runway on this craggy stretch of northwestern Crete.

About 20 Qatari men in desert-hued camouflage watch from a shady spot near the runway.

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