The political turmoil in Libya is exposing a growing gulf between rival Arab states. It is also defining a proxy war over the threat to the region's old order since the start of the Arab Spring.

The United Arab Emirates is accused of carrying out air strikes on militias in Libya with support from Egypt. Two bombings in eight days are said to have caught the US completely by surprise.

The UAE has dismissed the claims as a "diversion", while Egyp's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has denied any involvement.

The Arab uprisings and the events that followed have upset the established state system in the Arab world and seen the emergence of new alliances. 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are viewed as having a common goal in trying to contain or eradicate political Islam, while Qatar and Turkey are seen as more sympathetic to these causes.

So is a simmering proxy war in the region spilling over to direct involvement? Who is backing whom? And what is the role of the US?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Rami Khouri - director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

Ali Khedery - CEO of the strategic consultancy Dragoman Partners, and a former special assistant to five US ambassadors in Iraq.

Julien Barnes-Dacey – a senior policy fellow in the European Council on Foreign Relations' Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Source: Al Jazeera