Signs that the United States was preparing to carry out strikes against extremist groups in Libya have started to emerged, said Libyan and American sources, according to aawsat.com.
A Libyan military official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the US is preparing to comply with a demand from head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj “to strike ISIS targets in Tripoli.”
The capital had witnessed in recent weeks clashes between rival militias. The United Nations had brokered a ceasefire that ended the unrest.
The US military has maintained undeclared positions in the western city of Misrata, added the official. The military was also preparing to attack anti-Sarraj militias.
The militia fighting could resume tomorrow, he warned, explaining that the American threats to carry out a strike are a preemptive procedure.
An official at the US State Department told Asharq Al-Awsat that the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was continuing its work with its Libyan partners to reduce the number of violent extremist networks that are operating in the north African country.
An AFRICOM spokesman told Asharq Al-Awat by email, however, that the force was not discussing any of its upcoming operations in Libya.
The US has repeatedly said that it will take all appropriate and effective measures to protect itself, its partners and interests and prevent terrorist groups from seeking a safe haven, he stressed.
American sources said that Washington was concerned that ISIS was seeking to target security forces and infrastructure in Libya, as well as attack targets in the Oil Crescent region.
The terrorist group was seeking to restore its capabilities and exploit Libyan regions that are outside the control of state authorities, they explained.
Separately, demonstrators, who called for overthrowing all of Libya’s political bodies and dissolving all militias in the capital, took to the streets of Tripoli on Sunday.
The “Libya movement” also protested against the poor political and living conditions in the country.
The protesters demanded the resignation of Sarraj’s government and the country’s two parliaments.
On Saturday, Sarraj declared that violators of the ceasefire would be met with a “very firm local and international response.”
“There can be no room to meddle with the security in the capital,” he stressed.