By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 20 March 2015:
If the West does not provide Libya’s National Army (LNA), with arms and ammunition to . . .[restrict]fight the Islamic State (IS), then it is only a matter of months before IS will infiltrate Europe, the head of the armed forces, General Khalifa Hafter, has said.
Hafter claimed that the LNA has plenty of personnel, with new recruits joining every day, but they need material support – arms – from the West to be able to defeat IS in Libya.
Speaking in an interview with Associated Press, he warned that IS militants will be able to enter Europe the same way floods of migrants are, by crossing the Mediterranean on boats. Since an IS video in February showing the gruesome beheading of 21 Christians in Sirte showed that IS had gained a foothold in Libya, European states such as Italy have worried that the terrorist group is close to their shores.
Although Hafter has at different times claimed that his forces are within weeks of securing all of Benghazi, in his interview he said that Benghazi is “not simple” and requires searching through all the various buildings to root out the extremists.
Hafter skirted the issue of personal political aspirations when pressed, saying: “We are not in a situation to talk politics. When the time of politics comes, that will be the time to talk.” [/restrict]