France could launch a military intervention in Libya within three months 1801152

Defence & Security News - France
 
 
France could launch a military intervention in Libya within three months.
France could launch a military intervention in Libya within three months, according to an Arab diplomat who spoke to Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. The official, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper on Saturday that the question currently under discussion in Paris is not whether France will launch strikes in crisis-hit Libya, but when.
     
France could launch a military intervention in Libya within three months, according to an Arab diplomat who spoke to Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. The official, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper on Saturday that the question currently under discussion in Paris is not whether France will launch strikes in crisis-hit Libya, but when. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian with the President of Niger.
     

The revelation came after France’s Defence Minister spent two days on an official visit to Niger, Libya’s neighbour to the north, on Thursday and Friday.

During the surprise visit, Jean-Yves Le Drian saw in the New Year at a French base being built 100 kilometres from Niger’s border with Libya with the aim of stemming a feared flow of weapons and fighters from war-torn Libya further into the Sahel.

Addressing French soldiers in the capital Niamey later on Thursday, Le Drian called for international action to prevent Libya from becoming a “sanctuary for terrorists.”

Asked whether France would launch a fresh military intervention in Libya, Le Drian did not rule out the possibility, but stressed the importance of seeking a political solution.

“We first have to find a global roadmap on Libya,” he said

Speaking on Friday after a meeting with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, Le Drian made his strongest statements to date on the issue.

“We think that the moment has come to ensure that the international community tackles the Libyan problem. I think this is also what President Issoufou believes.”

“Libya is in chaos today and it is a breeding ground for terrorists who threaten the stability of Niger and, further afield, France,” Le Drian added.

     
France could launch a military intervention in Libya within three months, according to an Arab diplomat who spoke to Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. The official, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper on Saturday that the question currently under discussion in Paris is not whether France will launch strikes in crisis-hit Libya, but when. French soldiers in Mali.
     

Regional powers in the Sahel like Mali and Senegal have explicitly called on Western nations to take military action to prevent unrest in Libya from spreading across borders.

On Saturday, the diplomat who spoke to al-Sharq al-Awsat said he was “ready to bet” that French military intervention in Libya will begin within three months.

According to the source, Le Drian is “an ardent supporter” of launching strikes against militants in Libya, while France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is more cautious.

France played a leading role in the Western intervention in Libya’s 2011 uprising against strongman President Muammar Gaddafi, conducting the first strikes against Gaddafi’s forces.

     

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