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    Rather than getting sucked into Libya’s militia warfare, it would be more productive in the long run for Egypt to lead international efforts to help train and arm the Libyan army under the authority of the elected government, which lacks the necessary hardware and expertise to fight terrorism inside Libya.

    Egypt on Libyan Tightrope: 'Endless War' Beckons

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    Award-winning Libyan journalist warns of the dangers for Egypt of being drawn into its neighbor's militia warfare, as it seeks retaliation for the brutal murder of 21 of its citizens by ISIL on Sunday.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) talks to the media next to top military generals after an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council of the armed Forces in Cairo, in this January 31, 2015
    © REUTERS / The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via Reuters
    A prominent Libyan academic has argued that caution should be exercised by Egypt over possible military intervention within its neighbors borders, warning that to engage militarily in Libya could mean being dragged into "endless war."

    "Any Egyptian military action in Libya is likely to be risky and could easily backfire on Egypt, which has its own IS to fight in the Sinai Peninsula and almost daily bombings in Cairo itself," writes Mustafa Fetouri in Al-Monitor. 

    "Rather than getting sucked into Libya’s militia warfare, it would be more productive in the long run for Egypt to lead international efforts to help train and arm the Libyan army under the authority of the elected government, which lacks the necessary hardware and expertise to fight terrorism inside Libya."

    Fetouri instead counsels that intervention should be carried out under the framework of UN Security Council resolutions, which have been adopted but not enforced, and would lend weight to the dialogue facilitated by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya [UNSMIL] in Ghadames last week, which marked the first time delegates from Libya's two rival governments had met to try and resolve the country's crisis.

    Both representatives of Libya’s internationally recognized government, which is led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and based in Tobruk, and of its rival General National Congress (GNC) based in Tripoli, were at the meeting last week, which the UN announced "were conducted in a constructive and positive atmosphere," but did not result any announced agreement between the sides.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi vowed for revenge after a video emerged on Sunday of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya by ISIL extremists, and the following day the Egyptian Armed Forces General Command announced it had carried out air strikes on ISIL targets in Libya, in a statement made on state radio. The strikes were "to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers," said the military. Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them." 

    On Tuesday Al-Sisi urged the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to allow international military intervention in Libya, telling French radio "there is no other choice," while in a sign of anxiety in Europe, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano was quoted on Monday in the Italian press as calling for NATO intervention in Libya, telling La Republica that ISIL "is at the door." 

    English-speaking militants in the video of the murders, which was filmed on the Mediterranean Sea coast, gave a reminder of the wider threat of the destruction of Libya to regional stability, telling those watching that "we are on the south of Rome," and "will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission."


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