"Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago."
"For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi's private jet which flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.
'Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East region."
'Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings made by American aircraft
to Maltese air traffic control, requesting information about Libyan flights, especially that of
An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard contacting the Malta control t
ower on Saturday for information about a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way
from Amman to Mitiga, Gaddafi's own VIP airport.
Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: "Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017
position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?"
Malta air traffic control replies: "Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at flight level 340, with a
destination Mitiga, according to flight plan."
But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.
After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.
If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces." _________________A normal response to this comment would be why, but with the real politics of dirty double deals, and behind the back scenes and counterscenes Fisk is right .