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New NATO operation in Libya may result in chaos for its neighbours Featured

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Many experts believe a new government can sanction and coordinate a new western military operation in Libya aimed at destroying ISIS. Mustapha Tlili, Founder and Director of the New York University Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West, told Valdailclub.com what dangers such an operation could pose.
This week, Libya's internationally backed presidency council proposed a new unity cabinet aimed at ending severe divisions in the country engulfed in a civil war since 2014 and targeted by the ISIS terrorist group. Many experts believe a new government can sanction and coordinate a new western military operation in Libya aimed at destroying ISIS. Mustapha Tlili, Founder and Director of the New York University Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West, told Valdailclub.com what dangers such an operation could pose.

“Right now, we have a very dangerous situation, as ISIS is gradually shifting its power and bases from Syria and Iraq,” Tlili said in a telephone interview. 

“There should be an intervention to put an end to this cancer, which is ISIS, but it cannot be done without taking into account the aftermath,” the scholar pointed out. 

First of all, any decision on a military operation must be authorized by the United Nations. “If it does not have the legitimacy of the Security Council, this would open the door to all the dire consequences that we have seen in interventions of this kind, particularly when the Bush administration decided to go without the approval of the Security Council to get rid of Saddam Hussein and when the West began to pursue its policy with regard to Syria and Bashar Assad,” Tlili said.

Also, any decision on a military operation must take into account the particular problems of the neighbouring countries, he added. “Tunisia, for instance, is the most exposed of Libya’s neighbours with regard to ISIS, because the border is not secured. So it is not clear if it can stop completely the infiltration of jihadists from Libya to Tunisia. Second, there are almost two million Libyan refugees in Tunisia. If NATO attacks Libya, more refugees will flee to Tunisia. We know now that the flow of refugees can be an occasion for jihadists coming under the guise of refugees to strike,” the scholar elaborated.
“In a few words, it is necessary to get rid of ISIS in Libya, because it is a very big potential danger to everyone: not only to the neighbouring countries, the West and even to Russia,” Tlili said. “But we now know that you can start something which seems to be logical, that is attacking some source of evil, but then you end up with more evil than what you started with. This is exactly what happened when NATO bombed Libya to get rid of Gaddafi,” the expert concluded.
 
Initially published by Valdai Club
Read 6167 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 January 2017 01:06
Mustapha Tlili

Mustapha Tlili is a Senior Advisor to the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations of the United Nations.