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.
While President Obama is facing some criticism over America's role in Libya — it's just the opposite for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
He pushed for military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from the start of the uprising. A few critics have suggested Sarkozy's motives are linked to boosting his flagging domestic popularity.
But for the most part, Sarkozy's bold actions have earned him a rare respite from the usual barrage of criticism.
(Left to right) <em>New York Times</em> journalists Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks, Turkish ambassador Levent Sahinkaya, and Times journalists Lynsey Addario and Anthony Shadid, at the Turkish Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on Monday. Turkish diplomats helped secure the journalists' release.
Credit Anonymous / AP
The four New York Times staffers who spent six days in the hands of fighters loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi tell their story today.