US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said that even if Daesh insurgents operating in Libya are unable to sell oil as successfully as its affiliates in Iraq and Syria, Daesh could use local oil assets to generate revenue and "project military power."
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States must help Libya hold its territory amid the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) terrorist group’s increased attacks on the country and its oil facilities, former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday.
"It will be important…to help a new Libyan government and to help it control territory and we will need to be ready to do that," Ford said adding that he is watching the developments in Tripoli "with concern."
Ford warned that even if Daesh insurgents operating in Libya are unable to sell oil as successfully as its affiliates in Iraq and Syria, Daesh could use local oil assets to generate revenue and "project military power." The former ambassador added that the Daesh would use its space in Libya to create safe havens to plan attacks similar to Paris assaults.
Last week, Daesh claimed responsibility for a vehicle that detonated near a military training camp in the northwestern Libyan city of Zliten, which killed some 70 people.
During Tuesday’s hearing, former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell also warned that based on the current situation in Libya there is a high possibility of a blitzkrieg in the country similar to the one in Iraq.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the Arab Spring protests in early 2011 which led to a civil war. The instability that has plagued Libya since then, including the western military backed overthrow of the country’s long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, has helped numerous militant groups rise to power including Daesh.
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