UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in a statement that his country is expanding its participation in Libya beyond humanitarian operations.
"In support of UN resolution 1973, the UAE is fully engaged in humanitarian operations in Libya. As an extension of those humanitarian operations, the UAE Air Force has committed six F16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in the patrols that will enforce the no-fly zone now established over Libya," Shaikh Abdullah said.
In the statement carried by the national WAM news agency, he said UAE's participation in the patrols will begin in the coming days.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the UAE will deploy 12 planes to help the mission to protect civilians in Libya as she thanked the country for agreeing to send planes to aid the military operation against Muammar Gadhafi's regime.
Qatar, which has already contributed two fighter planes and two military transport planes to the operation, is expected to start flying air patrols over Libya this weekend.
No other members of the 22-member Arab League have so far committed an active role in Libya.
"The United States welcomes this important contribution by the United Arab Emirates to the enforcement of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 in Libya, the White House said.
Overcoming differences within, NATO has also agreed to take over command of the no-fly zone.