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Military Operation in Iraq Only Partially Addresses Problem: Libyan Prime Minister

A military campaign against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq is not sufficient to get rid of IS threat, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said Monday in an interview with RIA Novosti.

BAYDA, Libya, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – A military operation against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq is not enough to address the problem, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said Monday in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"Military intervention is only a partial solution to the problem, it does not eliminate the problem completely," the prime minister told RIA Novosti while commenting on the current situation in Iraq, where the United States is striking IS targets.

"The global community, as usual, provides assistance only when the situation turns into an alarming and growing problem. This was the case in Iraq – the United States launched airstrikes when the IS became a threat both for Arab States, and the international community," al-Thani said.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control. A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

Libya has repeatedly asked the global community for assistance, the politician pointed out.

"Unfortunately, it [global community] helped Libya when there was a need to bomb [Muammar] Gaddafi's arsenals. However, about three, four years ago, it did not provide assistance to rebuild infrastructure and governing institutions," al-Thani said.

Some states are providing aid, but it is still limited and is not in line with Libya's requests.

The United States began airstrikes in Libya when a revolution and the imminent end of the Gaddafi regime became apparent, according to the politician.

"The invasion was powerful; they destroyed the arsenals of Gaddafi, but did not think about the rebuilding infrastructure, government institutions, army and police. After the fall of the regime support was limited," the prime minister said.

Libya has been in crisis since the 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war.

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