Outside rivalries impacts Libya’s fight against ISIL

Islamic Extremism

The rivalry between Egypt and Turkey has influenced many of the events inside Libya. The crisis in Libya is fast assuming a regional dimension thanks to the emergence of warring factions after the fall of Muammar Ghadafi.

CCTV America’s Yasser Hakim reports the story from Cairo.

“Libya became a safe haven for militants and terrorists who are funded by foreign powers. It’s the perfect place,” said Mohamed Al Amin, a researcher at October Weekly. “There’s no army, an important geographical location, and abundance of oil wealth.”

Libya became a playground for opposing regional powers. On one side, Turkey and Qatar have long been seen as supporting the rise of Islamist forces, more so after the recent Arab uprisings.
However, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi ousted and jailed the Muslim Brotherhood’s top brass in Egypt in 2013. This move made him an adversary to close ally pPresident Tayeb Erdogan of Turkey.

The rivalry spilled over into Libya, where officials accuse Turkey and Qatar of allegedly funding Islamist militias to keep a foothold in the country and destabilize Egypt.

Militants occasionally infiltrate into Egypt from Libya and and target the Egyptian military. But if Qatar is supporting the Turkish endeavors, another Gulf state, the United Arab Emirates, is working with Egypt to counter the Islamist forces in Libya.

“They offered technical and logistical assistance, and funding to the Libyan army to fight back the militants who gained a lot of ground lately,” said Amin. “After the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and later Tunisia, its Libya’ s turn now. However, it will be much tougher.”