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Arab League fails to back airstrikes against IS in Libya

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By Euronews
Arab League fails to back airstrikes against IS in Libya

The Arab League says an “urgent” Arab strategy is needed to support Libya’s government militarily against the Islamic State group.

But the organisation, meeting in Cairo, stopped short of endorsing air strikes against the jihadists.

That is what the internationally recognised Libyan government based in the country’s east had asked for on Sunday

The militant group seized the town of Sirte in June; scores of people have been killed in clashes between the self-proclaimed Islamic State and local militias there.

“Arab countries need the help of the Great Powers, which must provide immediate assistance in this case,” said Abed Alsalam Ismael, an expert on Libyan politics, in an interview with euronews in Cairo.

“But I can also say that the Arab countries are currently engaged and busy in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, I think that the Libyan requests came in the wrong place and time”

Libya plunged into chaos after the Western-backed ouster of dictator Moammer Gaddafi in 2011.

It has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth.

Today’s meeting reflects the growing fear for the Arab States of the extent of Daash in the Arab region, most recently in Libya, reports euronews Middle East correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim.

He said the Arab League’s statement is a “warning message” to Europe as the jihadist group has seized large swathes of territory in North Africa and beyond.