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Rome Ready to Allow US to Use Italian Bases for Anti-Daesh Airstrikes in Libya

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Italy is ready to let the United States use its military bases to support the US airstrikes against Daesh jihadist groups in Libya, Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said Wednesday.

ROME (Sputnik) – Rome is open to dialogue with both the Libyan side, and with its US partners, the minister added.

"The government is ready to positively evaluate the issue of the use of Italian bases and airspace," Pinotti stated, speaking in the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian parliament’s lower house.

Such a decision could help the United States to complete the anti-Daesh military operation that has begun in Libya more quickly and efficiently, she explained.

On Monday, the Department of Defense announced that the US military had conducted airstrikes against Daesh jihadists in Libya at the invitation of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of providing access to the country’s military bases, in particular Naval Air Station Sigonella, to Washington to support the US campaign in Libya.

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Back in February, the Italian authorities agreed to allow US drones take off from Sigonella to launch drone attacks on Daesh targets in Libya.

Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the Arab Spring protests in early 2011 led to a civil war and the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The instability has facilitated the emergence of numerous militant groups in the state, particularly Daesh, which is outlawed in many countries, including the United States and Russia. The militant group has seized a sizable territory around Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

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