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Tue Nov 24, 2020, 01:22 PM

How Joe Biden Can Rein in Donald Trump's Reckless Middle East Policy

By Frederic Wehrey, Politico

One evening last November, while reporting on the front lines outside the Libyan capital of Tripoli, I got caught in an Emirati drone bombardment aimed at Libyan pro-government fighters. Alerted by the whirr of the craft overhead, the fighters whisked me inside a concrete villa, and we watched the streaks of the airstrikes from inside. A few days later, a group of foreign and Libyan workers at a biscuit factory east of Tripoli got no such warning. Around midmorning, an Emirati drone fired the first of five missiles through the roof of a storage hangar, destroying some supplies but sparing lives. The panicked workers fled north to an alfalfa field. The missiles followed them.

I arrived on the scene a few hours later to find the smoldering wreckage and impact craters in the field. The corpses had been removed, but the site was strewn with bits of skull and flesh, tufts of hair, and an orphaned sandal. In total, eight civilians died in the bombing, and more than two dozen were wounded.

The remnants of the missiles I saw pointed to the United Arab Emirates as the source—a conclusion that a Human Rights Watch investigation later corroborated. It was one of countless UAE drone strikes on civilian targets that have taken place during the latest phase of Libya’s yearslong civil war, adding to similarly devastating attacks in Yemen that the Emiratis launched in tandem with Saudi Arabia.

Both interventions, ostensibly undertaken against terrorists, Islamists and Iranian-backed militias, were enabled and prolonged by President Donald Trump’s feckless deference and signaling to Arab autocrats. Trump might tout his efforts to pull American forces out of the Middle East, but over the course of his presidency he still has wielded American power in the region to detrimental effects: He has blessed the Emirati- and Egyptian-backed war in Libya, vetoed a congressional resolution to end American military aid to the Saudi-Emirati campaign in Yemen, and exhorted Arab states to buy American arms—all of which has destabilized parts of the region and devastated swathes of its citizens.

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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/how-joe-biden-can-rein-in-donald-trumps-reckless-middle-east-policy/ar-BB1bjpQv?ocid=DELLDHP&li=BBnb7Kz

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