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Libya between international help and intervention

Fighters of GNA forces fire a rocket at IS fighters in Sirte - REUTERS


The Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), who requested US help to carry air raids on the locations of the Islamic State (IS) in Sirte, is not expecting long-term US strikes on the IS. The International Community is unlikely to expand the military intervention rapidly to give the GNA to establish itself away from any threatens of factional divisions in Libya.

According to Reuters, a Western diplomat source said that the Libyan “know that the international community is ready to help with training and advice, but specific requests are not emerging yet.”

It is worth mentioning that the forces of the Operation “Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous,” aligned to the GNA, decided to start their final and decisive battle against the IS in the city of Sirte, four months ago.

Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous fought for around four weeks to remove the IS, and then they besieged the IS in an area of lesser than 4 kilo-meters inside Sirte.

Reuters reported that the US is still helping the GNA forces to ease the crossings of the Libyan ground forces by targeting tanks, armed trucks and fighting positions in the slowly shrinking area of Sirte, where the IS remains.

In a related context, other sides try to compare the US help to the French intervention in Libya by supporting the army under the leadership of General Khalifa Hafter in Benghazi.

The raise the following question: How can you accept the help of the US in fighting against the IS and at the same time you refuse the French intervention in Benghazi?

But in front of that, the other side Asked “how can France help Haftar while it agreed to support the GNA, while Haftar refused to recognise the GNA?

Also, the GNA blamed France after it helped Haftar because there was no coordination between the GNA and the French Government regarding that.

According to Reuters, one of the commanders of the GNA forces on the Sirte frontline said that “we just want this fight to end, we’ll take any help we can get.”

But that openness does not extend to the idea of foreign boots on the ground, or broader efforts to end the security vacuum that allowed Islamic State to gain a foothold.

The Western diplomat said that “the need for outside help with training is indeed recognised at senior political level.” He added that “even for training, any visible presence on the streets would be difficult.”