By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 15 August 2015:
The Libyan government in Beida has called on Arab countries to carry out air strikes . . .[restrict]against Islamic State forces in Sirte, saying that because of the international arms ban it does not have the military capability to hit them.
Following IS’s brutal suppression of this week’s uprising the town, the government has asked for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League on Tuesday to authorise action in Sirte. It cited the Arab states’ obligations to held defend a fellow League member under attack. The request, calling for the permanent ambassadors to the League to approve air strikes, was handed to the League’s secretariat today, the League’s Deputy Secrertary General, Ahmad Bin Helli, has said.
In a statement today condemning IS’ “heinous crimes” in the town’s residential district No. 3, including beheadings and other executions, the Thinni government also criticised the inaction of the international community over the IS attacks and its unwillingness to protect innocent civilians. It further called on friendly states to put pressure on the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo.
There appears to be growing Arab support for air strikes. Yesterday, following a phone call with Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi, the League’s Secretary General, Nabil Elaraby, called for Arab governments as well as the international community to agree on action to end the killings by IS in Libya.
There have been reports during the day of further airstrikes in Sirte. These are thought to be by the Libyan airforce.
Meanwhile, in today’s statement, the government said that it was focussing all its energies on providing safe corridors out of Sirte so that residents could be evacuated and the wounded treated, outside Libya if necessary.