Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Egypt launches air raids on Libya after Christians killed.

with 6 comments

Nile News TV showing the remains of the bus.
By Ahmed Aboulenein | MINYA, EGYPT

Egyptian fighter jets carried out strikes on Friday directed at camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed dozens of Christians earlier in the day.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he had ordered strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished.

Egyptian military sources said six strikes took place near Derna in eastern Libya at around sundown, hours after masked gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in southern Egypt, killing 29 and wounding 24.

The Egyptian military said the operation was ongoing and had been undertaken once it had been ascertained that the camps had produced the gunmen behind the attack on the Coptic Christians in Minya, southern Egypt, on Friday morning.

“The terrorist incident that took place today will not pass unnoticed,” Sisi said. “We are currently targeting the camps where the terrorists are trained.”

He said Egypt would not hesitate to carry out further strikes against camps that trained people to carry out operations against Egypt, whether those camps were inside or outside the country.

Egyptian military footage of pilots being briefed and war planes taking off was shown on state television.

East Libyan forces said they participated in the air strikes, which had targeted forces linked to al-Qaeda at a number of sites, and would be followed by a ground operation.

A resident in Derna heard four powerful explosions, and told Reuters that the strikes had targeted camps used by fighters belonging to the Majlis al-Shura militant group.

Majlis al-Shura spokesman Mohamed al-Mansouri said in a video posted online that the Egyptian air strikes did not hit any of the group’s camps, but instead hit civilian areas.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the Christians, which followed a series of church bombings claimed by Islamic State in a campaign of violence against the Copts.

Islamic State supporters reposted videos from earlier this year urging violence against the Copts in Egypt.

At a nearby village, thousands later attended a funeral service that turned into an angry protest against the authorities’ failure to protect Christians.

I leave it to ‘anti-imperialists’ to protest against the Egyptian action.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm

6 Responses

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  1. The unpalatable truth is that if we’d left Khaddafi in charge this wouldn’t have happened. Now, clearly Libya needs some kind of stability or the crazy terrorists will run wild. My own modest proposal is for Libya to be occupied and administered by UN forces, the problem with that being that our politicians can barely run our own countries, let alone Libya – we saw this in Iraq. But one way or another, Libya needs a government. We didn’t leave one in place after 2011 and this is the result.

  2. That is a seriously good proposition.

    If we had somebody of the serious international ability as Robin Cook round I can imagine him pushing this.

    Andrew Coates

    May 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm

  3. As an act of revenge for domestic consumption within Egypt, the bombings of camps within Libya serve a purpose. Does anyone seriously imagine, though, that Egypt’s Copts will be any safer from murderous jihadis as a result of the strikes on these camps? The Egyptian state is not even able to ensure that there are no jihadi training camps on Egyptian territory, let alone eliminate them in Libya.


    May 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm

  4. Indeed. The Copts have suffered from oppression for a very long time.

    Though perhaps one, say citing by hazard, groups like the SWP, Counterfire and (in more lying and muted terms) the StWC could explain how ‘imperialism’ is to blame for this attack.

    Andrew Coates

    May 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm

  5. ‘Blame’ is not generally a very useful way of looking at causation. The people who massacred the Christians are fully responsible for their own actions. Blame lies with them. Let’s hope something happens to them which stops them repeating the act. But as for why it happened – there are lots of factors. Among them is the chaos in the Middle East, to which Western powers have contributed with their enthusiasm for ‘regime change’ and their encouragement for ‘rebels’ in Libya (who sometimes turn out to be murderous terrorists once they transfer their ‘rebellion’ to Manchester). That is not the only factor, of course, There are plenty of others, many of which are not mainly the result of Western actions.

    But – when it comes to the question of what can we, the Western countries, do to try to improve the situation, then we need to take stock of the outcome of the ‘war on terror’ since 2001. Have our policies and actions made things better, or worse? I find it hard to see how anyone can seriously argue that our governments’ policies between then and now have improved matters, except for arms manufacturers, human traffickers, warlords and jihadis.


    May 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm

  6. On Andy’s proposition:

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