Socialist Worker

David Cameron quietly steps up land war in Libya

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2486

The Tories have sent 1,000 British troops to Libya to defend oil fields threatened by the advance of Isis-supporting forces.

This is part of a 6,000-strong deployment of US and European soldiers.

A Royal Navy destroyer has been directed to the North African coast and the RAF has been asked to prepare for air-strikes against targets in Libya. This is a major escalation.

The US and its allies are determined to prevent Isis taking Marsa al Brega, a major oil refinery.

Libya’s oil reserves are the largest in Africa. The US and Britain fear Isis will soon control them.

That’s why they have launched a further imperialist intervention. But it faces problems.

A US Special Forces mission last month faced opposition from locals and had to organise a humiliating withdrawal.

The US is also struggling to cobble together a Libyan “unity government” so it can intervene on its behalf.

Two narrowly-based governments have carved up parts of Libya, and militias have grown amid the chaos after the West’s bombing in 2011.

In December the United Nations (UN) announced a Libyan Government of National Accord. It has been recognised by the 15 members of the UN Security Council—but has not actually been formed.

Killings happen almost daily. US and British forces will make the chaos in Libya worse.

The West’s bombs devastated Libya and its actions are a cause, not a solution, for Isis’s rise.


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Tue 12 Jan 2016, 16:46 GMT
Issue No. 2486
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