Islamic State threatens Libyan premier-designate

Tripoli, March 18 (IANS/AKI) The Islamic State has threatened Libya’s premier-designate Fayez al-Sarraj after he announced that the UN-backed national unity government will move to Tripoli from Tunis “within the next few days”.

“Our war against it (Libya’s newly appointed national unity government) is the same war as that against the previous governments,” a masked IS militant stated in a video posted to Internet.

“This apostate government won’t live in security but will provide us the opportunity to burn the ground beneath the feet of the apostates and their masters,” the militant added.

He also warned of a “new Iraq” should world powers intervene military in Libya, where the IS has exploited the turmoil and expanded since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Also on Friday, the ‘Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room’ armed group announced a “long-term” war against the UN-backed unity government, the al-Wasat reported.

The militia, founded by the Tripoli parliament’s Islamist-leaning speaker Nouri Abusahmain, vowed to “crush” supporters of the Sarraj’s government, calling them a “mass of spies”.

Since 2014, Libya has had two rival parliaments and governments, an Islamist-leaning one based in Tripoli and the internationally recognised one based in the eastern city of Tobruk, each backed by various militias.

The internationally-recognised eastern parliament has repeatedly failed to vote to approve the unity government, but a majority of its members signed a statement of support last month.



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