Egypt offers military training to Libya to combat threat from militias – Al-Tahrir News Network


Egypt has offered to train pro-government forces battling rival Islamist extremist groups in Libya in order to eradicate what it says is a threat to its own stability from the escalating violence destabilising its neighbour.

The Egyptian government fears chaos in Libya may encourage domestic terrorist groups.

Egyptian military officials and representatives of pro-government Libyan forces have met several times over the past two months in Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Marsa-Matrouh, Egyptian security officials said.

An intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that intelligence and training assistance were discussed during the meetings.

Spokesman of the Libyan General Chief of Staff, Ahmad Buzeyad Al-Missmari, confirmed that Egypt had offered to train Libyan troops.

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has called for decisive action against militants based in Libya, who Egypt says sneak across the border to help Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and other terrorist groups against Egyptian security forces in Sinai.

Egyptian Authorities believe Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the country’s most active terrorist group, has contacts with Al-Qaeda offshoots in Libya as well as the Islamic State, formerly (ISIL), now targeted by US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly last week, Al-Sisi called on the international community to support the elected Libyan authorities, stating that Egypt has already presented an initiative to a comprehensive political solution that preserves the territorial unity of Libya.

The Egyptian president, who has publicly backed but not joined the air strikes against the Islamic State, insists that any global coalition against the terrorist group should also involve actions against an array of extremist groups, making it clear his main concern lay closer to home.

Islamists groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya were targeted by air strikes last month. US officials said the strikes were staged by Egypt and United Arab Emirates.

Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn), a coalition of extremist Islamist groups, accused Egypt and UAE of involvement in the air strikes.

Last August, the Islamist coalition fighters have been engaged in fierce clashes with Libyan governmental forces over the control of Tripoli’s airport.

Both Egypt and UAE denied any involvement in those air strikes.

Libya is witnessing  the worst violence accompanied with the rise of Islamist extremist militias since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime by a western backed uprising in 2011.