27 August 2014

Egypt: U.S. Accuses Egypt and UAE of Conducting Airstrikes in Libya

Photo: Zahra Moloo/IRIN
A resident of Tayuri stands against a bullet-riddled wall of his house.

Cairo — United States State Department Spokeswoman and Pentagon spokesman accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday evening of conducting airstrikes on Islamist factions in Libya, reported Reuters.

U.S. state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reportedly said the U.S. government "understands there were airstrikes undertaken in recent days in Libya by Egypt and the UAE."

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Pentagon media secretary John Kirby said the U.S. military "believes" that the Egyptian and Emirati governments were behind the recent airstrikes, reported Reuters. Kirby gave no details regarding the reasons supporting such belief.

Militant fighting in Libya has recently intensified in measures unprecedented since the overthrow of late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Army general Khalifa Haftar declared war on Islamist forces within Libya since May.

Islamist forces in the Libyan City of Misrata blamed Egypt and the UAE for airstrikes which targeted the Libyan capital on Saturday.

In a meeting with newspapers' chief editors on Sunday, Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denied that Egypt has conducted any military operations outside its borders "as of yet," reported state-run news agency MENA.

The foreign ministry strongly condemned on Monday "the trial to involve Egypt in Libya's internal affairs," stressing the importance of protecting the unity of the Libyan territories and their regional security.

In an interview with Reuters in May, Sisi referred to Libya as a "security threat" Egypt faces, especially in regards to combating terrorism.

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