By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 21 February 2016:
After months of denying that there were any Islamic State (IS) militants in Sabratha, the municipal council has . . .[restrict]called on the Libyan and Tunisian authorities to take action against the organisation.
In a statement yesterday, it said that it was “surprised by the silence” of the Tunisian government and those in power in Libya over IS’ actions. It demanded the Libyan authorities respond to what had happened and the Tunisian government stop the flow of terrorists across the border. Both, it instead, had to start acting responsibly and defeat the terrorists who, it added, wanted to destroy Libya.
Sabratha itself, it said, had not been provided with the means to deal with IS. The Libyan defence and interior ministries had to do so in order to ensure security in the area.
The statement is in marked contrast with the position taken by the council until just a few days ago. Despite the widely reported presence of IS transit and training facilities in Sabratha district, it persistently and emphatically denied it even when captured IS fighters admitted they had been based at Sabratha.
When the Libya Herald put the allegations to council officials some months ago, they were adamant there were no IS or any other militants in Sabratha.
In its statement, the council added that reports attributed to the head of its media office claiming that the council was aware in advance of the strikes and that it was in regular contact with the US were not true. [/restrict]