Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C) and Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (L) attend the “Friends of Libya” group meeting held in Doha, Qatar on October 26, 2011 to discuss the future of the country after Moamer Kadhafi was buried in secret. The AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB
DOHA: Qatar revealed for the first time Wednesday that hundreds of its soldiers had fought alongside Libyans in their battle to topple longtime despot Moammar Gadhafi.
“We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region,” said Qatari chief of staff Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya.
The announcement marks the first time that Qatar has acknowledged it had military boots on the ground in Libya.
Previously the gas-rich country said it had only lent the support of its air force to NATO-led operations to protect civilians during the eight-month uprising, which ended when Gadhafi was felled with a bullet to the head after being captured last week.