On Monday, U.S. and other international world powers showed support towards arming the current recognized Libyan government, the Government of National Accord. The purpose was for Libyan government forces to fight Islamic State militants and other rivalries on their own.
The U.N. arms embargo will be in place, but there will be exemptions towards the Libyan government’s requests for training and equipments for its forces. “We are all of us here today supportive of the fact that if you have a legitimate government and that legitimate government is fighting terrorism, that legitimate government should not be victimized by (the embargo),” John Kerry, the Secretary of State said.
“We have a major challenge ahead of us. We urge the international community to assist us,” Libyan Premier Faye al-Sarraj stated.
The nation was plagued with chaos after the death of Muammar Gaddafi five years ago. Many rival militias began fighting for power and the country turned into a battleground. Islamic State radicals were able to take advantage of the power gap and managed to expand their presence.
There is an estimation of at least 6,000 IS fighters in Libya. U.S. Special Forces were deployed and have been conducting operations in Libya. “There are small teams of U.S. forces that are on the ground effectively meeting and getting a better sense of the players on the ground, so that we have a sense of, for example, ISIL’s presence in Libya,” Peter Cook, the Pentagon Press Secretary mentioned.