Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
Egypt and the UAE have offered to treat the injured after bombing claimed by IS in ‘revenge’ for airstrikes on Derna
Residents of Libya’s al-Qubbah prepare graves for at least 40 people killed in Friday’s car bombing
Condemnations have poured in after a triple car bombing claimed by Islamic State killed at least 40 people in the eastern Libyan city of al-Qubbah, as renewed airstrikes hit sites thought to be controlled by the militants.
Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the US and the EU all condemned the huge attack, which also injured at least 65 people.
The Egyptian Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mahleb, offered his condolences on Friday evening for the bombing that killed four Egyptians and two Sudanese nationals along with at least 34 Libyans.
In a statement, Mahleb said that Egypt “stands with our sister Libya in confronting terrorism and working to destroy it”.
Mahleb said that some of those injured in the bombing would be transferred to receive treatment in Egyptian hospitals.
In its statement, the UAE offered the use of its own hospitals to those affected by the blast.
The US also denounced the attack, which targeted a petrol station packed with people on Friday afternoon.
“The recent terrorist attack confirms the need for all parties in Libya to participate in dialogue led by the United Nations…to form a national unity government,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a press briefing in Washington on Friday.
The EU echoed the call for unity in its statement, warning that this is the “last chance” for parties in the Libyan conflict to engage in dialogue.
Libya is in the grip of a protracted crisis, with an ongoing political deadlock as two rival parliaments struggle for legitimacy.
The House of Representatives (HoR) has gained international recognition, and meets in the far-eastern city of Tobruk, while the General National Congress (GNC) continues to meet in the capital Tripoli despite the HoR’s claim that its mandate elapsed months ago.
Militia groups have thrived in the resulting power vacuum, and last week Islamic State claimed to have executed 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in the Libyan town of Sirte.
Egypt retaliated within hours, launching airstrikes on the eastern town of Derna, a militant stronghold some 800 kilometres from where the Egyptian workers were abducted.
In a statement on released hours after the bombing, IS published the images and names of the attackers, saying they had sought “revenge for the blood of Muslims in the city of Derna and vengeance against the Tobruk government”.
Egypt’s airstrikes, launched at dawn on Monday morning, were carried out in co-ordination with the Tobruk government.
The government’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed al-Dairi, told a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday that he had asked Egypt to continue its airstrikes.
In the wake of the attack, renewed airstrikes targeted the central city of Sirte as well as Derna to the east.
Planes from the air force allied to the HoR struck a former government complex that has recently been used as an IS base in the city of Sirte, according to Libyan news site al-Wasat.
Libyan analyst Mohammed el-Jarh said on Friday evening that Derna residents he had spoken to were “extremely worried” about retaliation in the aftermath of the IS bombing in al-Qubbah.
(Source / 20.02.2015)
Libya’s foreign minister is asking the UN Security Council to lift an arms embargo so the country can fight the growing threat of the Islamic State group.
Foreign Minister Mohammed al Dairi spoke to an emergency session of the council Tuesday amid regional alarm after the Islamic State group posted a video of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.
He stresses that Libya is not asking for international intervention, but his country has asked neighboring Egypt to support the Libyan army.
Al Dairi says the international community has a “legal and moral responsibility to lend urgent support” and the region, including the Mediterranean, is in danger.
“If we fail to have arms provided to us, this can only play into the hands of extremists,” he says.
(Source / 18.02.2015)
Cairo is pushing for action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Libya after the jihadists released a gruesome video showing the beheadings of Egyptian Christians
Egypt said Wednesday a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Libya submitted by Arab states makes no mention of the international military intervention against jihadists that Cairo originally proposed.
“There is no call for foreign military intervention,” the foreign ministry said of a proposed resolution that would lift a UN embargo on arms sales to Libya for the benefit of the country’s internationally recognised government.
The announcement comes after Western powers balked at taking on the local branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which recently beheaded Egyptian Christians in Libya, stressing instead the need for a political solution to the unrest there.
(Source / 18.02.2015)
Egyptian F-16 fighter jet preparing to take off in the early morning from an undisclosed location to conduct air strikes against ISIS group targets in Libya
Egypt’s air force bombed ISIS targets in Libya at dawn on Monday, a day after the militant group released a videopurporting to show the execution of 21 Egyptian Copts there.
“Your armed forces on Monday carried out focused air strikes in Libya against Daesh camps, places of gathering and training, and weapons depots,” the military said in a statement, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
It was the first time Egypt confirmed launching air strikes against the group in neighboring Libya, suggesting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is ready to escalate his battle against militants seeking to topple his government.
The military said the dawn strike, in which Libya’s air force also participated, “achieved its targets accurately” and the pilots returned to base safely, the Egyptian military said, as state television ran brief footage of a fighter plane taking off in darkness.
In a statement to Al Arabiya News Channel, a Libyan air defense commander Saqer al-Joroushi said “more air strikes will be carried out today and tomorrow in coordination with Egypt.”
Sisi had given a televised address, saying that Egypt and the world are facing “ferocious threats.”
In separate to Egyptian state television al-Joroushi said between 40 to 50 militants were killed in Monday’s air strikes.
“There are casualties among the individuals, ammunition and the communication centres belonging to them,” Al-Joroushi said. “The number of deaths are not less than 40 or 50 for sure,” he said.
On Sunday, ISIS released a video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptians captured in Libya.
The 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had gone to Libya in search of jobs, were marched to a beach, forced to kneel and then beheaded, according to the video, broadcast via a website that supports Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Men in orange jumpsuits purported to be Egyptian Christians held captive by the ISIS are marched by armed men along a beach said to be near Tripoli, in this still image from an undated video made available on social media on February 15, 2015
The United Arab Emirates, a close ally of Sisi, said it “would put all its capabilities” to support … Egypt’s efforts to eradicate terrorism and the violence against its citizens.”
Security officials say militants based in Libya have established ties with Sinai Province, a group operating from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Family member of one of 27 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers who have been kidnapped in the Libyan city of Sirte, sits crying in front of a banner with pictures of the workers, in Cairo
Top security meeting
Sinai Province has killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called an urgent meeting of Egypt’s top national security body after the video was released.
Following the release of the video, Sisi had given a televised address, saying that Egypt and the world are facing “ferocious threats” hailing from radical militants, who are “devoid of any humane sense.”
He said his country reserved the right to “punish these murderers” as he called a meeting of security chiefs and declared seven days of mourning after the video was distributed by militants on social media.
The Egyptian President also headed on Monday to a Cairo cathedral to offer condolences to the church on slaying of the 21 Copts.
The Coptic Orthodox church earlier said it was “confident” that those who purportedly beheaded a group of Egyptian Copts in Libya will be punished.
Family members of 27 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers kidnapped in the Libyan city of Sirte, take part in a sit-in inside the compound of Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to call for the release of their relatives, in Cairo
“The Orthodox church … is confident its homeland would not rest until the evil perpetrators get their fair retribution for their wicked crime,” the Coptic church said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The footage shows 21 handcuffed hostages wearing orange jumpsuits being beheaded by their black-suited captors on a beach the group said was in the Libyan province of Tripoli.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said he has agreed with his Egyptian counterpart that U.N. Security Council should meet and take measures over the situation in Libya.
The United States has condemned the beheadings, saying: “The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIS-affiliated terrorists,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
“ISIS’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity,” Earnest added, saying the latest bloodshed “only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIS.”
“This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya,” Earnest said.
(Source / 16.02.2015)
Libya’s Waha Oil Company has posted a video on its Facebook page showing the fire that raged through El Sarir oil field and halted oil flows to the Hariga port, in what is believed to be an act of sabotage.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for Saturday’s fire.
توقف الإنتاج بحقل السرير النفطي بسبب عملية اصلاح الخط الذي تم تفجيره.
وعملية الاصلاح تاخذ ثلاثة ايام .. ولن يؤثر ذلك على انتاج ليبيا الحالي من النفط لأن خزانات ميناء الحريقة ممتلئة. .
Oil terminal supervisor Rajab Abdulrasoul told Reuters that the El Sarir pipeline was hit at around 5 a.m. local time, and resulted in a fire that shut off flow to the port.
The El Sarir blast and subsequent fire comes in the wake of Friday’s attacks on the nearby Makruk and Bahi oil fields. Gunmen assaulted the Bahi oil field on Friday, while the neighboring Mabruk oil field was also stormed that day.
Earlier this month, nine guards were killed and three workers were taken hostage in an attack on Mabruk.
The country’s energy sector is a frequent target for attacks, as fighting between rival factions continues.
In recent months, Libya’s oil production has fallen to around 350,000 barrels a day, compared to 1.6 million bpd before the NATO-backed uprising that ended Gaddafi’s rule in 2011.sdsd
(Source / 15.02.2015)
The statement was issued by Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States
The United States and five of its European allies on Saturday warned that Libya could face bankruptcy if its oil output and prices on international markets continue to fall.
In a statement voicing alarm at the deteriorating security situation in the conflict-wracked North African state, the allies also warned that Libya was on the brink of economic implosion because of a collapse in its production and the sliding value of crude.
“We remain deeply concerned about the economic impact of the political and security crisis on Libya’s future prosperity,” the joint statement read.
“In light of low oil production and prices, Libya faces a budget deficit that has the potential to consume all of its financial assets if the situation does not stabilize.”
The joint statement was issued by Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States.
It was published in the wake of a deadly February 3 attack on an oil field partly owned by France’s Total in which at least 11 workers died, most of them after having their throats slit.
The statement added: “We share the U.N.’s assessment that these attacks constituted a major break in the public pledges made by the main commanders to refrain from actions that could harm the political process. There can be no military solution to Libya’s problems.”
The allies urged the warring factions in Libya to agree a ceasefire and a national unity government through the U.N.-led talks.
“The only people who ultimately benefit from continued fighting over Libya’s oil terminals and cities are terrorists. We are concerned by the growing presence of terrorist organizations in Libya, and by the attacks on the Corinthia last week and on the Mabrook oil field earlier this week.”
Libya’s oil output has collapsed since an Islamist-backed militia alliance launched an offensive in December to try to capture coastal oil export terminals from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government. Global oil prices rallied this week having fallen 60 percent in six months.
(Source / 07.02.2015)
African Union pledges support for ‘political solution’ in Libya, calls for ‘terrorist’ groups to be sidelined from country’s politics
Libya’s former renegade general Khalifa Haftar confirmed this week that his forces had received military assistance from the UAE and Egypt
The African Union called on the international community to pay “greater attention” to the situation in Libya on Friday.
Mohammed Would Abdel Aziz, the Mauritanian president and head of the AU, told the body’s 24th summit that international co-ordination on the issue must continue “until the Libyan parties reach an agreement that ends the crisis and re-establishes the authority of the state”.
Ahead of a meeting of the 54-member body in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the AU head also said that “groups designated by the international community as terrorist” must be distanced from any political activity in Libya.
The AU head did not indicate what form international support for Libya should take, although, on Wednesday, leaders of the body stressed their plan to support Libyans in finding a “political agreement” to the current crisis.
Support from Egypt and the UAE
Many international observers have now pledged support for a political solution for Libya.
However, Libya’s former renegade general Khalifa Haftar confirmed this week that his forces had received military assistance from the UAE and Egypt.
In a 20-minute interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the army man said that his forces had received enough arms and equipment to allow them to put an end to the armed struggle.
Haftar launched a military campaign dubbed Operation Dignity last May, aimed at rooting out Libya’s many rival militant groups.
The campaign was initially dubbed a “coup” by the parliament at the time, but Haftar was later accepted back into the army in November 2014.
Since the campaign was launched there have been numerous reports that it receives support from foreign powers, notably Egypt and the UAE, who have been thought to be behind night-time airstrikes on sites controlled by Islamist-aligned forces.
However, this is the first time that Haftar has said publicly that his forces have received support from foreign powers including Egypt and the UAE.
Haftar’s admission came as Libya, an important player seen as key to regional stability, spiralled further into chaos despite attempts to negotiate peace between rival political and military factions.
Gunmen laid siege to a luxury hotel in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday, in an attack that killed at least 11 and was later claimed by Islamic State.
Many fear that a power struggle between the House of Representatives (HoR), Libya’s internationally-recognised parliament, and the General National Congress (GNC), is leaving a vacuum ripe for exploitation by militant groups.
The GNC is allied to Libya Dawn, an armed group that took control of Tripoli last August.
(Source / 30.01.2015)