Egypt and Libya have jointly launched eight airstrikes so far on specific targets, including camps and ammunition stores belonging to “Islamic State” in Libya.
“The airstrikes will continue,” Libyan Prime Minister Abdallah Al-Thinni, who leads the internationally-recognised government in eastern city of Tobruk, told Daily News Egypt.
Al-Thinni added that there have been no attacks on residential areas, and that “malicious rumours” are being spread about the killing of civilians.
However, a parallel government in Tripoli, led by Omar Al-Hasi, opposing Al-Thinni’s government, noted in a statement Monday that four of the strikes have allegedly left three children dead. The statement added that two elderly men and a 21-year-old woman were also killed, along with the destruction of a number of houses.
The Egyptian military spokesman’s office has not confirmed the continuation of the airstrikes.
Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Abdulsalam Mohamed Al-Badri headed a high level delegation to Egypt Monday following the first Egyptian-Libyan airstrikes on IS targets on Libyan territories. He offered condolences and discussed the activation of the Arab Joint Defence agreement, according to Al-Thinni.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called on the UN Security Council for international intervention in Libya. The Security Council stressed in a Monday statement that “Islamic State” must be defeated “and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out”.
UN Security General Ban Ki-moon and the Council condemned the attack on 21 Egyptian Copts, “urging Libyan parties to press ahead with their political dialogue”, in a Monday statement.
The joint Egyptian-Libyan airstrikes were launched Monday morning following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s speech addressing the nation Sunday. In his speech, Al-Sisi said that Egypt“reserves the right to retaliate at the appropriate time”. He also announced the convening of Egypt’s National Defence Council Sunday, to discuss the decisions and procedures to be taken in response to the IS video featuring the beheading of the 21 Egyptian Copts.
The group addressed in their video “the nation of the Cross” and “the hostile Egyptian Church”. The speaker in the video threatened Christians by saying: “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for.”