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article imageUK government drafting plans to defeat Islamic State in Libya

By Ken Hanly     Jul 26, 2015 in Politics
London - British Prime Minister David Cameron claims the UK should be ready to fight terrorist groups anywhere in the world. He is drawing up plans for defeating Islamic State forces inside Libya..
The Telegraph reports Cameron has ordered officials to plan for a new intervention in Libya, which he claims has become a haven for IS jihadists. The gunman who recently killed 30 tourists in Tunisia was trained by IS in Libya. Actually, the Islamic State lost control of its original stronghold the city of Derna in eastern Libya. It was driven out by an umbrella group of Islamists who now have control of the city. IS fighters have been driven out into the nearby mountains. The only significant area they control is the city of Sirte and surrounding area. However, they launch suicide attacks in many areas
Cameron is flying out of the UK today to a four-day trade mission to South East Asia. He will offer UK expertise to both Malaysia and Indonesia to help them fight terrorism. Cameron also wants to extend the UK bombing campaign into Syria to attack IS positions there, as the US is doing.
Cameron believes that the UK must be ready to return to Libya to confront what he calls the murderous "death cult" of the IS jihadists: “Isil is one of the biggest threats our world has faced. Britain can offer expertise on practical counter-terrorism work – dealing with the threat from foreign fighters and investigating potential terrorist plots. .We will only defeat these brutal terrorists if we take action at home, overseas and online and if we unite with countries around the world against this common enemy.” Britain could provide specialists to help authorities organize security, and military trainers to train local forces in combat techniques to confront the Islamic State.
At present there are two rival governments and main military forces in Libya. There is no sign yet of the proposed Government of National Accord. The present agreement has been signed only by one government, the internationally-recognized House of Representatives based in Tobruk. Neither the Libya Dawn forces of the Tripoli government nor the commander of the Tobruk forces, Khalifa Haftar, have accepted the agreement brokered by the UN. Both Haftar and the commander of the HoR air force have rejected the deal and refused to stop fighting even though both are named as subject to sanctions by the EU. Is the UK going to coordinate its actions with commanders under EU sanctions? A foreign office spokesperson said that the immediate priority was to support a "ceasefire and a stable political settlement". Neither side's military has agreed to a ceasefire or even to talk to one another. The existing political settlement is a recipe for disaster with only one of two rival governments agreeing to it. There is almost universal praise for the document that is almost bound to exacerbate the civil war if not amended. Yet the UK and no doubt other western countries are anxious to intervene again in Libya. The main IS positions remaining in Libya are in an area controlled by the Tripoli government.
Last time around, the UK spent 13 times more on bombing than on rebuilding the country afterwards. The eight-month intervention cost about 320 million pounds. To rebuild and stabilize the country after the campaign the UK spent only 25 million pounds. Now it is time to repeat the damage and leave the Libyans to pay for rebuilding their country.
More about David Cameron, Islamic State in Libya, libya conflict
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