UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has not ruled out sending troops to fight ISIS militants in Libya, in an interview with a UK newspaper.
“It wouldn’t make sense to rule anything out because you never know how things are going to evolve,” Hammond told The Telegraph. “If naval or air support was requested for such an action, we would obviously look at it.”
Several EU nations have been on a standby to send soldiers to the North African country as ISIS mounted attacks on Libyan oil ports in an attempt to spread over the northern coast, which is considered to be a springboard to Europe.
Hammond said he did not expect an invitation from Libya’s divided government any time soon, but added his country reserved the right to protect its nationals should ISIS presence in Libya become a major security threat.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the ouster of its long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. A security vacuum allowed ISIS to spread from Syria and Iraq to Libya and seize a pocket of territory centered on Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte in 2014.