West Weighs Military Options Against IS

By John Lee.

Western powers are considering direct military intervention against the Islamic State group (IS, ISIS, ISIL) in Libya.

The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is ramping up intelligence-gathering in Libya as the Obama administration draws up plans to open a third front in the war against the Islamic State.

A senior State Department official told reporters in Rome on Monday:

"First and foremost, when we see a threat to the United States or external plotting, we will not hesitate to act upon that threat."

The Guardian reports that the United Kingdom is waiting to see whether peace efforts succeed before joining US and France in calling for intervention. British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is thought likely to oppose any intervention.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French television that a government of national unity was the “only way to eradicate” the jihadists, adding, “I have been very worried about Libya since September 2014. [IS]are there, nearly 300 kilometres from the (Italian) coast, and they are spreading.

Roberta Pinotti, Italian Defence Minister, said in an interview, "we cannot imagine the situation in Libya remaining in a stall as spring comes and goes."

(Sources: The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, AFP)

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