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US on Attack in Libya: Send in the Drones

Common Dreams staff

The U.S. is surging its use of drones in Libya as it investigates the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, the Associated Press reports. 

With operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen stretching human resources thin, "Predator and Reaper drones" have been "increasing the area they cover and the frequency of their flights since the attack on the consulate, as well as sending more surveillance equipment to the region, one official said," according to the Associated Press.

Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar says that the use of the unmanned aircraft will soar in Libya, predicting that the Obama administration response to attack would be "droning them to death."

RT interviewed Escobar on the growing rage across the Muslim world catalyzed by the release of an anti-Muslim film.

RT: These latest attacks, on the US diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, were they planned? And if so, who planned those particular attacks?

PE: There is an acronym a gang infested al-Qaeda, Salafi Jihadist style acronym jungle, let’s put it this way. Al-Qaeda in Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And of course reminisce of the so called the reformed Libyan Islamic fighting group (LIFG) Abdelhakim Belhadj he is a commander. He is one of many militias, the most powerful.

He also has a political proposition in Libya. But the most important thing is that these Salafi jihadists are not part of the power structure in Tripoli. Their agenda is a Caliphate in Eastern Libya. It is not by accident that the attack was in Benghazi. And the same is happening to the Salafi jihadis in Egypt, who got 25 percent of the votes in the Presidential election in Egypt; and the Salafi jihadis in Yemen as well. So the craziest thing is the Obama’s administration's Middle East policy is now basically, ' let's align ourselves with the Muslim Brotherhood.'

Okay, they may be moderate in Egypt, but they’re not moderates in Syria. And in Libya, the Muslim Brotherhood is part of the government, but at the same time they have to contend with the Salafi jihadis from outside. So what is going to be the response from the Obama administration? I predict it will be like droning them to death, and where are they these Salafi jihadis? They are basically in Dera, south of Benghazi, scattered around in the desert. So I expect a lot of droning in the area in the next few days and weeks.

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