Sunday, January 24, 2016

Report: UK, U.S., Russian Troops in Libya
Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Saturday, 23 January 2016

Dozens of British, Russia and American troops have arrived in Libya in support for the weak internationally-recognized government in Tobruk, London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat reported.

The daily also said French troops are expected to arrive soon for the same purpose.

The officers and soldiers are currently stationed in Jamal Abdulnasir military base south of Tobruk where the parliament is holding its sessions in the city.

Witnesses in the base, meanwhile, said the number of foreign troops mounts to 500 troops in the past three weeks, but a security official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said they are just dozens.

However, a small group of Americans have arrived west of Tripoli, where the opposing government is.

On Friday, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said a decisive military action is needed to halt the spread of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Libya, saying the group wanted to use the north African nation as a platform to coordinate activity across the continent.

A spokesman for Libya’s recognized government in the east told AFP it was requesting a “limited intervention by the international community to "protect oil fields from ISIS attacks.”

Hatem el-Ouraybi said the government wanted “air strikes against ISIS positions” in Libya.

The government has previously called for an air campaign against ISIS, like in Iraq and Syria, but world powers are first waiting for rival sides to endorse the unity administration.

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