Nations meet to discuss how to rid Libya of Islamic State militants

ROME - Nations fighting the Islamic State discussed Tuesday how to prevent the extremist group from gaining a stranglehold in resource-rich Libya, though no one appeared resolved just yet to launch a second military intervention in the North African country this decade.

See Full Article

Speaking at a 23-nation conference in Rome, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the last thing anyone wants "is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars in oil revenue." He said the U.S. and its European and Arab partners should increase security training and help Libya's military "not just to clear territory, but to create a safe environment for the government to stand up and operate."

More than four years after a U.S.-led military effort helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is mired in chaos. Since 2014, it has been split between two rival authorities. A new unity government still doesn't have parliamentary approval.

Amid the chaos, an Islamic State affiliate has carved out territory in the centre of the country and fighters, wearied by coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria, are flocking to the new front.

Last week, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter warned that IS militants were trying to "consolidate their own footprint" in Libya by setting up training sites, drawing in foreign recruits and using the levers of economic power to raise money through taxes. The U.S. won't allow the group to "sink roots" in Libya, he said, but provided no indication of any U.S. military campaign was imminent.

European countries, too, are weighing options.

Italy, whose southernmost territory is less than 300 miles from Libya, has indicated it would participate in a UN-authorized peacekeeping or stabilization mission. It has moved aircraft to a base in Sicily, but insists that any action first requires a stable Libyan government and other international assistance. The instability has led to hundreds of thousands of migrants using Libya-based smugglers to reach Italy.

"We cannot imagine spring passing with the situation in Libya still stalled," Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti told Italy's Corriere della Sera paper last week. Britain and France also are considering military possibilities, with similar caveats.

A senior U.S. official attending the talks stressed that "when we see a threat to the United States or external plotting, we will not hesitate to act upon that threat." He cited a November airstrike that that killed Abu Nabil, a top Islamic State leader in Libya.

But any broader campaign would require talks with coalition partners and the Libyans, said the official, who briefed reporters on the discussions on condition he not be quoted by name. He said President Barack Obama convened a National Security Council meeting last week "focused on the Libya question."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • China imposes limit on oil supply to North Korea

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China announced Saturday that it will limit oil exports to North Korea under U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang's last major trading partner, energy supplier and diplomatic ally. Source
  • Tempers fray as search for Mexico earthquake survivors winds down

    World News CBC News
    Tempers frayed in Mexico City on Friday as the search for survivors amid twisted rubble of collapsed buildings began to wind down, three days after the country's most deadly earthquake in a generation. The 7.1 magnitude quake levelled 52 buildings in the sprawling Mexican capital at lunchtime on Tuesday, leaving thousands homeless and close to 300 people dead. Source
  • Does North Korean H-bomb threat push U.S. closer to war?

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Would exploding a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, as North Korea has threatened, push the current war of words between the U.S. and North Korea closer to actual war? As with much that has transpired lately in the U.S. Source
  • In Jojutla, Mexico, earthquake left hundreds homeless and hungry

    World News CTV News
    In the Mexican town of Jojutla, hundreds of people have been left homeless by Tuesday’s earthquake and so many buildings are damaged that some locals fear their town may never be rebuilt. Jojutla is just 50 kilometres from the magnitude 7.1 quake’s epicentre. Source
  • Now that bestiality is illegal in Ohio, convicted child rapist charged after allegedly giving dog oral sex

    World News Toronto Sun
    CLEVELAND — A man accused of performing a sex act on a dog has been charged under a new state law that criminalizes bestiality. The law went into effect March 21 and makes sexual contact with an animal a misdemeanour offence that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail upon conviction. Source
  • This Canadian army corporal's Invictus training inspired her to revisit old dreams

    Canada News CBC News
    Kelly Scanlan had always planned for a lifetime of service. "I have police officers in my family, I have firefighters in my family and I kind of wanted to follow in that tradition when I was done with the military," the 26-year-old corporal with the Canadian infantry told CBC News Friday. Source
  • At least 21 U.S. states were targeted by election hacking

    World News CTV News
    The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems before last year's presidential election. The notification came roughly a year after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials first said states were targeted by hacking efforts possibly connected to Russia. Source
  • Mexicans homeless after quake rely on kindness of strangers to survive

    World News CBC News
    For 12 years, Adriana Lemos has walked up to apartment 903 of the Osa Mayor, a 14-storey apartment building in downtown Mexico City. Now, as she picks her way carefully up the stairs past piles of rubble, she fears this may be the last time she will see her home. Source
  • Suddenly homeless Mexicans rely on the kindness of strangers to survive after quake

    World News CBC News
    For 12 years, Adriana Lemos has walked up to apartment 903 of the Osa Mayor, a 14-storey apartment building in downtown Mexico City. Now, as she picks her way carefully up the stairs past piles of rubble, she fears this may be the last time she will see her home. Source
  • 'Russo-phobic hysteria' sours U.S. relationship: Russian foreign minister

    World News CTV News
    Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria." Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russia interfered in the U.S. Source