“The situation is extremely serious,” said Mohamed al-Dairi, the foreign minister of Libya’s internationally-recognized government, during a visit to French capital Paris on Tuesday.
ISIL militants are present in the eastern town of Derna, the northern towns of Benghazi and Sirte and northwestern town of Sabratha. However, they have not yet taken the oilfields “but we fear they might come to control several wells,” he added.
Libya has two rival governments vying for the control of the country, with one faction controlling Tripoli, and the internationally recognized one governing the cities of Bayda and Tobruk.Dairi’s government is in control of most of the North African country’s eastern regions after being chased out of Tripoli in July 2014 by a motley coalition of Takfiri militants.
“On Saturday, there was a call from their leaders in Iraq and Syria to reinforce their ranks in Libya. They want to make Libya a rear base,” Dairi added.
The Takfiri militants also control parts of land in Iraq and Syria where they carry out various indiscriminate atrocities.
Libya has been witnessing chaos since a 2011 uprising that led to the ouster and subsequent killing of long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. “After 2011, Libya was abandoned to its fate,” he added.
Daesh Takfiri militants are purportedly seen parading in a street in Libya’s coastal city of Sirte, February 18, 2015. (AFP)
Dairi also called for the lifting of a 2011 United Nations arms embargo, “We are not talking about sophisticated military equipment, but we need the minimum to fight terrorism in an adequate manner.”
He added that as the “danger is growing”, his country requires air support for Libyan ground forces battling the militants. “People are dying, are crucified, are disinterred from their graves, are burned alive. Libyans don’t understand why the international community doesn’t wake up to these dangers.”