Will the enmity against IS unite the Libyan factions?
Arab League calls for urgent military aid for Libya
Mohammed al-Dairi, the Foreign Minister of the government of House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobrok, has put forward an appeal at an emergency Arab league meeting in Cairo. He said that the ill-equipped fighters under the HoR are unable to fight Islamic State (IS), the terrorist group, which he said is trying to establish a base in Libya and tighten its stranglehold on Libya.
The HoR has previously appealed to lift the arms embargo on Libya, including after IS in Libya took control of the city of Sirte. It has also requested from Arab countries to carry out airstrikes and bomb the terrorist group in Libya.
Al-Dairi also said that, the UN – mediated negotiations to form a unity government in Libya should not be seen as an “obstacle” to arming the troops of the Libyan army, loyal to the HoR. He said “The Libyan air force is not capable of conducting air strikes against Daesh (IS) in Sirte,” he added
“Libyan national security is Arab national security … Libya is suffering and we are fed up with the atrocities of the terrorist groups.”
The Chief of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby endorsed and fully supported al-Dairi’s call for members of the Arab league to respond “promptly and effectively”. The Arab League called for an “Urgent” strategy to back Libya’s government against IS by giving them military aid, but didn’t agree on sending air strikes to Libya. In a statement, the Arab league said “The Arab League affirms that given the difficult situation, there is an urgent need to quickly put an Arab strategy in place that includes assisting Libya militarily in confronting IS’s terrorism,”
As LIBYAPROPSECT learned, last week, brigades from the western side of Libya have begun talks in uniting and forming one strong brigade to fight IS in Sirte, these brigades taking part are loyal to the General National Congress (GNC)
In other news, the United Nations Human Rights Office has expressed its concern over the violence which soared through the coastal city of Sirte in Libya, which involved clashes between IS militants and local residents.
Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said “It seems that fighting erupted in the city after a local imam, Khaled Ben Rajab al-Ferjani, known for his vocal opposition to IS, was shot dead on 10 August. He is reported to have been killed while resisting abduction by IS fighters,”
He added “In April 2015, the bodies of three members of a prominent family in Derna were also put on public display. During its control of Derna, which lasted until June this year, ISIL also carried out at least four public summary executions and an amputation. It seems that the public flaunting of these murders is intended to send a message to anyone challenging ISIL in Libya,”
It is believed that most of the civilians have evacuated the city of Sirte in search for safety and security, the actual number of fatalities remains unknown, some say 38, some say up to 200, no exact figure has been released.
The question here is, will the fight against IS in Libya unite the rivalling factions, as they all want to get rid of IS?