CAIRO, Feb 16 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt called on Monday on the United States-led coalition against Islamic State Fighters to take measures to fight the group and other militant groups in Libya, given the “threat” they represent to international security.
In a statement, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry reiterated calls on the US-led coalition to “bear its responsibility toward supporting Egypt politically and financially.”
Egypt has launched airstrikes in Libya this dawn after a video surfaced on Sunday night showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian nationals by masked men believed to belong to the Libyan division of the Islamic State Fighters in Iraq and Syria group.
The Egyptian military said in a statement the strikes targeted training sites and weapons and ammunition storage sites belonging to Islamic State Fighters in Iraq and Syria, located inside Libya.
The airstrikes were coordinated with the Libyan air force, Libyan Air Force Chief of Staff Sakr al-Joroushi was cited by Reuters as telling al-Arabiya satelite channel.
The US-led coalition was launched last year after Islamic State Fighters gained control of parts of Syrian and Iraqi land in the summer. Egypt did not participate in strikes carried out by the coalition in Syria and Iraq but has chosen to actively fight militancy inside the Sinai Peninsula instead.
Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs said “leaving matters inside Libya the way they are, without a strict intervention to curb these terrorist organisaions, is a clear threat to international security and peace.”
Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri left Egypt today for Washington DC on a five day visit to discuss “combating terrorism”.
The minister will also take part in the global conference on extremism, which the United States called for, due to be held on February 18.
Widespread condemnations of the beheadings have been issued and continue to pour in, by bodies and figures including the White House, France, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Pope Francis of the Vatican.
The heads of state of the Egypt and France have called for a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss possible new measures that can be taken regarding the Islamic State Fighters, after a phone call today.
Fighting in Libya has intensified since the overthrow of late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, reaching unprecedented levels over the past year. As a result, several Libyan cities have fallen under control of amred militant groups.
Several Egyptians have been caught up in the militant fighting gripping the neighbouring country.
Twenty-one Coptic Egyptians were abducted in the Libyan city of Sirte on two separate occasions in December and January, only one week apart. They were beheaded in a video titled “a message signed with blood to the nation of the cross.”
In response, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised address that “Egypt reserves the right to respond in the method and timing it deems suitable for retribution from these killers.”
Egypt renews calls on US-led coalition to support Egypt “politically and financially” – News – Aswat Masriya.