Ex-aide to Gaddafi accuses West of sending militants to Libya

CAIRO (dpa)- The West is sending Islamic State militants to strife-torn Libya after the collapse of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq, a former close aide to slain Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi has claimed.
“The West had initially trained terrorists in Libya and then relocated them to Syria and Iraq. Today, it brings them back to Libya,” Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of Gaddafi, told dpa in Cairo.

Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of Gaddafi,
Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of Gaddafi,
“Hundreds of Daesh elements, who fled from Syria and Iraq, are daily transferred to Libya, mainly to the border areas with Tunisia," he added, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
"Do they aim to destabilize Libya or to brand it with extremism and then declare a military alliance to liberate it from the hands of Daesh, which means continued looting of wealth and redrawing of the areas of influence and military bases in the country?” Gaddaf al-Dam said.
Libya has descended into chaos since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Gaddafi in a NATO-supported armed revolt.
Control of the oil-rich North African country is claimed by three rival governments - two in the capital Tripoli, and one in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Lawlessness in Libya, a former Italian colony, has helped it become the main springboard for often deadly migrant journeys across the Mediterranean Sea.
Gaddaf al-Dam also accused Italy of collaborating with people smugglers in his homeland.
"They [Italy] know names and whereabouts of people smugglers," he said. "Instead of helping Libyan authorities in fighting them, they pay them in order to keep migrants [in Libya]," he added.

Tuesday, January 2nd 2018

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