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World powers must speed up efforts to crush the Islamic State group, Tony Blair has said, as he appeared to lend his support to military action against the extremist militants in Libya.
The former Prime Minister said it was “extraordinary” that an offshoot of Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isis) had been allowed to gain so much power on the edge of Europe.
Fighting the extremists, also known as Isis, and their attempt to create a so-called caliphate across the Middle East should include “on-the-ground” support from Western militaries, as well as working with local allies, he said.
Members of the Islamic State (IS) Photo: AFP
A proposal for 1,000 British troops to join an Italian-led training mission to Tripoli to bolster the fledgling Libyan government against Isil was this weekend described as a “disaster” by a senior Tory. Crispin Blunt, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said soldiers would be sitting targets for Isil. SAS soldiers are already in Libya alongside special forces troops from Jordan, the Jordanian king has said, where they are though to be carrying out reconnaissance and seeking allies among Libya’s rival militia.
Mr Blair said that while military progress is being made against Isil, the movement must be wiped out “with greater speed and vigour”, he said.
Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: “This ‘caliphate’ is itself a source of recruitment. We can use local allies in the fight, but they need equipment and where they need active, on-the-ground, military support from us, we should give it. To have allowed Isis to become the largest militia in Libya right on Europe's doorstep is extraordinary. It has to be crushed.”
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تاريخ التسجيل : 08/04/2011
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