Libya: Sisi urges UN mandate for international intervention

Hamas warns Italy not to embark on Libyan 'Crusade'

17 February, 11:44

    Egyptian president Al-Sisi Egyptian president Al-Sisi

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi has called on the UN Security Council ''to adopt a resolution'' for ''international intervention in Libya'', the website of Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram reported exclusively on Tuesday.

    Ongoing air raids on Libya ''are part of Egypt's right to self-defense to protect our children'', Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shouky told broadcaster Al Arabiya.

    The minister said that after the video in which ISIS on Sunday showed the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, ''a strong and accurate reaction was necessary'', according to the network's website.

    Seven other raids with ''dozens of victims'' were carried out by the Egyptian air force against ISIS ''strongholds'' in the eastern Libyan city of Derna last night, Egyptian media reported on Tuesday, citing official Libyan sources.

    An unspecified number of injuries were also reported following air raids carried out ''by Egyptian and Libyan jets'', said Libyan air force commander, Saqer al-Joroushi.

    Italian Premier Matteo Renzi huddled with Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti at his office to discuss the situation in Libya on Tuesday. During the meeting, Italy's commitment to a strong diplomatic campaign to get the United Nations to take action was reiterated.

    A senior member of Palestinian Islamic group Hamas, Salah Bardawil, on Tuesday warned Italy not to embark on a military intervention in Libya, saying this would be considered "a new Crusade against Arab countries and Muslims".

    Last week Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that Italy was ready to participate in a United Nations-mandated operation in Libya, amid concerns about advances made by jihadists linking themselves to the ISIS Islamist group. But on Monday Premier Matteo Renzi ruled out an Italian operation in Libya for the time being and called for calm after the beheading of a group of Egyptian Copts in Libya on Sunday and threats that ISIS was now "south of Rome". In response to the tensions, Italy closed its embassy in Libya and brought back about 60 Italians early Monday. Bardawil was quoted by the Palinfo agency as warned "some countries, such as Italy" against using the "excuse of fighting terrorism" to meddle in Libya.(ANSAmed).

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