An “EU military operation” illustrates a de facto EU Army has been formed.
BERLIN/TRIPOLI (Own report) – Libya’s government has resolutely rejected the EU’s plans for a military operation aimed at terminating the transit of refugees to Europe. No ventures will be allowed that place the country’s sovereignty into question, announced a spokesperson of the internationally recognized Libyan government, located in Tobruk. Monday evening, the EU decided to make a four-step military mission to Libya’s coastline, which, following an initial phase of “reconnaissance,” the EU forces would begin regular inspections of vessels, to then ultimately prepare the way for military operations on Libyan territory. Those operations threaten to lead to armed conflicts with the Libyan branch of the “Islamic State” (IS), which, according to reports, has a strong business interest in refugee smuggling. Thanks to the West having laid the groundwork by overthrowing Libya’s long-time ruler Moammar al Gadhafi, the IS was able to establish itself in Darnah, East Libya, as was reported in the spring of 2011. The easiest and surest option of shutting down the refugee smuggling business – permitting the refugees legal entry into the EU – is being contemplated neither in Berlin nor in Brussels.
The planned operations against Libyan refugee smugglers not only run the general risk of becoming an armed conflict with Libyan militias, but particularly of becoming a conflict with troops of the Islamic State (IS). IS was able to establish itself in regions of Libya last year – thanks to the NATO countries’ vigorous groundwork. This can be seen, for example, in the port city, Darnah in eastern Libya. At the beginning of the West’s attack on Libya in March 2011, the situation in the city already hinted at the looming dangers, should Moammar al Gadhafi be violently overthrown.
At the time NATO began bombing Libya, it was generally known that there was a strong Islamist orientation in some of the regions of the country. This was particularly true of the city of Darnah. Back in 1970, Islamist fundamentalists in Darnah had rebelled against Gadhafi. During uprisings in the mid 1990s, the city was considered the hub of the Islamist-oriented opposition. Jihadists from Darnah not only were fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s, but later in Iraq as well. According to documents, discovered by the US Armed Forces in 2007, between August 2006 and August 2007 alone, more than 50 jihadists from Darnah were supporting “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” The IS grew out of “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) Back in March 2011, NATO countries simply brushed aside perfectly reasonable warnings that al Qaeda was active in Darnah, and could flourish unrestrained, should Gadhafi be overthrown. Reports in major western media organs at the time, clearly pointed to the jihadists’ influence. “A veteran of the war in Afghanistan,” who explicitly praises “good points,” about Osama bin Laden’s activities, runs “Darnah’s defenses,” against the Libyan military, reported the New York Times in March 2011.
Soon after Gadhafi was overthrown, a Libyan branch of the jihadist Ansar al Sharia militia established itself in Darnah. These jihadists became famous through their September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and killing the US ambassador to Libya along with three other US-citizens. In the fall of 2014, the jihadists in Darnah submitted themselves to the IS’ caliphate. Particularly those jihadists, who previously had come from Darnah to Syria to participate in the combat against Bashar al Assad supported this move. They returned to Darnah full of enthusiasm for the IS. The IS has not only firmly established its rule over Darnah – imposing an extremely rigid system of norms and corporal punishment, including executions in soccer stadiums – it has also begun using the free hand provided by the overthrowing of Gadhafi, to establish branches in other Libyan towns, such as the port city of Sirte.
The impending military operation off the Libyan coast, aimed at imposing a permanent stop to the undesired trans-Mediterranean refugee transit to Europe – which for PR reasons is portrayed as a “battle against smugglers” – runs the risk of becoming a direct conflict with the Libyan branch of the Islamic State. This would further escalate the war in the Arab World.