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Report: Egypt and Algeria considering military operation in Libya

Egypt and Algeria are considering a joint military operation in Libya to prevent the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in their increasingly unstable neighbour Libya, an Algerian newspaper reported Sunday.

According to Sunday’s editorial in the Algerian Al-Watan newspaper, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is “worried” about the threats from its eastern borders. It pointed out that Bouteflika is “prepared to wage a war against Jihadists in the region”.

Furthermore, the chairman of Egypt’s 2014 Constitutional Committee, Amr Moussa, said in press statements that the situation in Libya has become a source of “grave concern” for Egypt and Libya’s neighbouring countries, pointing out that the “mini-states, sects and extremist factions” in Libya constitute a direct threat to Egypt’s national security.

Moussa called for a broad-based discussion in Egypt “to raise the public’s awareness regarding the present dangers,” and to build the required support for any potential Egyptian decision to “exercise its right to self-defence”.

At least 23 Egyptian nationals were killed in Libya last week after a property housing Egyptian workers was shelled amid the ongoing fighting between rival militants in Libya.

According to the Libyan ambassador to Egypt, who spoke to the Daily News Egypt, there are 1.6 million Egyptian expats in Libya.

Yesterday morning, thousands of Egyptian nationals fleeing the unrest in Libya were evacuated by planes from Jerba airport to Cairo airport after Tunisian border guards denied them entry to Tunisia, AFP reported.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hossam Kamal told AFP that “1,796 people had been taken to Jerba and another 1,355 were scheduled to be transferred there on Sunday, when five flights to Egypt were planned.”