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Libya: U.S. airstrikes and Haftar issue

Defence/Middle East - Africa di

As requested by Government of National Accord, the U.S. intensified its fight in Libya launching airstrikes in Sirte, ISIS stronghold in Libya. American help is necessary to accelerate GNA advance: “These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies,” the Pentagon statement said.

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Previously, Western support was by intelligence and military training, as proved by presence of special forces in Libya since at least March 2016. Now, despite GNA advance in Gulf of Sirt (ISIS troops decreased from 6,000 to 1,000, as reported by Pentagon), American help is necessary to increase its influence in this area. Indeed, if the U.S. (and Italy, through a logistic support) wants to defeat Islamic State because of the war on terrorism, Serraj has at least two reasons: the first one is Libyan security and support to all factions which are fighting against Daesh; the second one concerns Serraj’s connection with Haftar and HoR for GNA legitimacy.

Inevitably, Haftar reaction after the U.S. intervention was not positive. His troops, supporting by Egypt and France (three French soldiers were killed in Libya close to Benghazi), advanced against ISIS positions in past months, especially when GNA was freshly formed. But the U.S. and its allies wants an unified Libya to defeat Daesh and stop migration flows.

If France has an ambivalent position, Italy is the first U.S. ally in the Libyan context. Now, Rome is ready to consider positively a request to use airbases and national airspace, and support the operation, if it is believed that it would lead to a more rapid and effective conclusion of the ongoing action,” Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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