As the Islamic State launches more attacks in Libya, there is an increasing likelihood that there will be further foreign military intervention to confront the group.
|The U.S. top general, Joseph Dunford, chair of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff, is reported by the New York Times as having said in Paris:|
“Unchecked, I am concerned about the spread of ISIL in Libya…You want to take decisive military action to check ISIL’s expansion and at the same time you want to do it in such a way that’s supportive of a long-term political process.”
“The only thing missing for a military intervention is the legal framework. As soon as the new Libyan unity government is formed, it can proceed. When Libya has a united and to some extent legitimate government again, then there is someone in response to whose request a western military intervention can take place within the framework of international law.”
Military forces from Britain, US and Russia have arrived in Libya to support the new UN-backed government, London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Saturday, adding a French one is to follow soon. The newspaper said foreign troops made up of dozens of soldiers and officers landed at Jamal Abdel Nasser military base south of Tobruk. Eyewitnesses said the number of foreign military personnel arrived at the base has reached 500, while a military source indicated that the number does not exceed a dozen of officers who came to give consultations to the army.Al Arabiya provides a similar report. There is also a report that a plane carrying military experts from France arrived in Tobruk yesterday. A group of U.S. commandos landed in Al-Watiya airbase in Libya but left when confronted by Zintani militia who demanded they leave.
At the peak of the assault, large-scale US, British and French marines will land on shore for an operation first billed as the largest allied war landing since the 1952 Korean War. The attachment of Russian forces was negotiated later. According to the scenario sketched in advance by DEBKA Weekly, large-scale US air, naval and ground units are to spearhead the new coalition’s combined assault on the main Libyan redoubts of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia and other radical Islamist organizations. Cruise missiles strikes will blast them from US, British, French and Italian warships on the Mediterranean.While Debka has its supporters, and is sometimes right, a bit of caution is in order:
...Israeli intelligence officials do not consider even 10 percent of the site's content to be reliable. Cornell Law professor Michael C. Dorf calls Debka his "favorite alarmist Israeli website trading in rumors."There seems little doubt however that many foreign countries are lining up to militarily intervene in Libya as soon as the GNA gets up and running or as it seems even before this happens. Parts of the Debka report also fit in with other reports. For now, it appears most likely that there will be small groups of special forces operating in Libya from a number of countries.