Western Powers Mull Action Against Islamic State in Libya
Thu, February 4, 2016
A military convoy in Libya. (Photo: © Reuters)
U.S. President Barack Obama will act unilaterally against ISIS in Libya if necessary, the White House said.
“If there is a need for the United States to take unilateral action to protect the American people, the president won’t hesitate to do that,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said his country will provide weapons and support to Libya with which to fight ISIS, but not soldiers and only after Libya forms a government, according to The Daily Express.
“I don't envisage a situation where we need to want to put boots on the ground,” he said. Previous reports had suggested that Britain might deploy 1,000 troops to Libya
However, it was reported that soldiers from the more covert Special Air Service (SAS) would likely be deployed to Libya.
Canada also pledged to act, but only after Libya has a single government recognized by the West.
“We certainly have an obligation to help the people of Libya,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said. “The way to do is something we need to consider with our allies, not alone, and the first step is to have a government that will be our interlocutor.”
Western governments discussed a solution to the ongoing Libya crisis at a summit in Rome of the 25-country coalition against the Islamic State.
The Islamic State is reportedly recruiting mercenary soldiers from impoverished African countries including Chad, Mali and Sudan to bolster its army in Libya, offering signing bonuses of up to $1,000 each.
The president of Nigeria stressed that a solution to the Libyan crisis must be found since instability was endangering the wider region, according to News24.
“I must express our serious concern about the alarming situation in southern Libya which is becoming a strategic time bomb for Africa and indeed Europe," President Muhammadu Buhari told Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
"The ungoverned south of southern Libya has become a... arms bazaar which threatens the security of the Sahel region as well as the north Africa region and beyond.”