The tiny but influential Arab nation of Qatar was the first Arab state to join the allied effort to stop the bloodshed in Libya. A third of its fighter-jet fleet is now on the Souda air base on the Greek island of Crete. The Qataris, working alongside the French, are helping enforce the NATO-led no-fly zone over Libya.
Two Mirage 2000 jets — one Qatari, one French — rev their engines. The pilots turn the sleek planes onto a runway on this craggy stretch of northwestern Crete.
About 20 Qatari men in desert-hued camouflage watch from a shady spot near the runway.
While President Obama is facing some criticism over America's role in Libya — it's just the opposite for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
He pushed for military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from the start of the uprising. A few critics have suggested Sarkozy's motives are linked to boosting his flagging domestic popularity.
But for the most part, Sarkozy's bold actions have earned him a rare respite from the usual barrage of criticism.