Libya edges closer to civil war as rival militias clash around airport
By Imed Lamloum, AFP
July 17, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TRIPOLI, Libya--Libya's government said on Tuesday it was considering calling for international forces to help restore security, as fighting between rival militias around Tripoli airport pushed the country closer to civil war.
With liberal and Islamist militias locked in a brutal power struggle, the country's main international airport, which was shut down on Sunday for security reasons, came under renewed attack late Monday.
Shortly afterwards the government said it was “looking into the possibility of making an appeal for international forces on the ground to re-establish security and help the government impose its authority.”
The statement from a spokesman added that the forces would help protect civilians, prevent anarchy and allow the government to build up the army and police.
NATO warplanes helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, sparking a power struggle between rival armed groups that has wracked the country ever since.
Speaking in Vienna, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was “deeply concerned” about the growing levels of unrest in the North African nation, and was “working very hard to find political cohesion.”
“Every single day in the State Department we make assessments about the level of violence, about our personnel who are there, about our embassy.”