Britain prepares Libya intervention

The UK will be sending troops to Tunisia to help prevent ISIS fighters from entering the country from Libya, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said March 1. "A training team of some 20 troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade is now moving to Tunisia to help to counter illegal cross-border movement from Libya in support of the Tunisian authorities," Fallon told Parliament. Using the Arabic acronym for ISIS, he added: "I am extremely concerned about the proliferation of Daesh along the Libyan coastline, which is why we have been urgently assisting the formation of a new Libyan government." Implicitly invoking deployment of ground forces in Libya, he said: "Before taking any military action in Libya, we would seek an invitation from the new Libyan government." (MEM, March 2)

Libya conitnues to be divided between two rival regimes—which have both rejected the new "national accord" government that the "international community" now recognizes in the wake of UN-brokered talks. The "national accord" prime minister, Fayez Sarraj, has appointed a 32-member cabinet—but is based in a hotel in Tunis. Both of Libya's rival parliaments have boted to reject the Tunis-based body. (AFP, Jan. 26; The Guardian, Jan. 19