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Reactions to the US air strikes on Sirte

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial

American air strikes took place on Monday against the Islamic State (IS) targets, stated the head of the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj. In an announcement made to the Libyan public, he said that the PC decided to trigger their participation in the Islamic alliance, and join the International Alliance confronting the IS.

The French Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, was pleased with the GNA’s decision in requesting international aid. In a phone call with Al-Sarraj, he renewed “France’s full support to the GNA’s work to unify Libya and rebuild its institutions.”

On its side, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also welcomed the US airstrikes against the IS, revealing that the strikes were demanded by the GNA to support its local troops, in the context of their common target; restoration of peace and security in Libya.

Likewise, the British Ambassador, Peter Millett, embraced Al-Sarraj’s participation in the Islamic and International alliances against the IS, describing it in a tweet to be the threat that endangers the region and everyone must fight.

Furthermore, Jonathan Winer, the US’s special envoy to Libya said that the US Army launched strikes in Sirte, which are consistent with its anti-terrorism approach, working alongside the local troops whom he described to be well abled and motivated. Winer also mentioned in a tweet that the US military actions reinforce their call for all parties in Libya to work with the PC, and was only focused on the threat by the IS.

On the other hand, the Russian ambassador to Libya, Evan Molotkov, stated on Tuesday that the US airstrikes lack legal basis; emphasizing the fact that launching strikes on Libya would require a decision from the UN Security Council. However, the ambassador refused to comment on the possibility of Russia joining the strikes against the IS if it was requested to do so.

Responding to that, the US Department of State denied these accusations, stating that the US can use force in Libya against IS; for it is considered to be self-defense procedures, as part of the ongoing armed conflict with IS.