Libya’s interim government has slammed US airstrikes on a suspected ISIS training camp saying that the unsanctioned bombardment was a grave violation of its sovereignty.
US warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on an ISIS base in in Sabratha western Libya on Friday, targeting a leader linked to last year’s beach massacre in Tunisia. It was reported that around 30 to 40 Islamic State recruits were killed as well as two Serbian embassy staff who had been abducted by ISIS.
Libya’s interim government issued a statement saying that it “strongly condemns the airstrikes carried out by the US Air Force at certain positions in the town of Sabratha on Friday morning, February 19, 2016, without any coordination or consultation with the interim Libyan government.”
“Any interference, similar to the one that has taken place, will be considered an open and flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the Libyan state and international law,” the statement said.
The interim government said that it values the foreign assistance it receives in the war on terror, but added that “any military or political interference into Libyan affairs should be performed in a legal way through parliament and the newly formed government.”
In the statement, the government also said it “places the responsibility for the worsening of the domestic economic and social situation, as well as the security situation that contributed to the spread of these organizations (Islamic State) in our country, on the international community.”
The Friday airstrike carried out by the US in western Libya reportedly killed more than 40 people and was hailed as a major success by the Pentagon.
However, two Serbian hostages – embassy communications chief Sladjana Stankovic and her driver Jovica Stepic – also died in the bombardment, which came just as ransom negotiations had gotten underway with the kidnappers.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Belgrade “demanded explanations from the US about whether they knew that foreigners were present at the site. They said they didn’t.”
Stankovic and Stepic were abducted in the northwestern coastal city of Sabratha on November 8, 2015, when their car was hijacked by gunmen after becoming separated from a convoy carrying Serbia’s ambassador to Libya.