British Foreign Secretary: UK won’t rule out British ground troops in Libya

Foreign secretary says he cannot rule any action out, but the question of military force would be put to MPs

Philip Hammond (centre) tours a naval base with Libya’s prime minister designate Fayez al-Sarraj on a visit to Tripoli last week. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA
Philip Hammond (centre) tours a naval base with Libya’s prime minister designate Fayez al-Sarraj on a visit to Tripoli last week. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

British ground combat troops could go to Libya in the future, the foreign secretary has said.

Philip Hammond told the Sunday Telegraph he could not rule anything out as he did not know how the situation in the north African country would evolve.

But he insisted that the question of British ground, sea or air power taking action in Libya would be put to MPs.

Hammond said the southern Mediterranean was an important security interest as terrorists established there would be a threat to all of Europe, including the UK.

“It wouldn’t make sense to rule anything out,” he said, discussing the possibility of ground combat troops going to the country.

“But if there were ever any question of a British combat role in any form – ground, sea or air – that would go to the House of Commons.”

He also highlighted the closeness of Libya to the outer borders of Europe. He said it was 100 miles from Libya to the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is the first stop for many migrants when they arrive on the continent.

“If Daesh [Islamic State] became established in Libya and sought to use that established base to infiltrate terrorists into Europe, that would be a threat to all of us,” he said.

He said he knew that the new Libyan government would be cautious about requesting western military support but if it did, the UK government would consider it.

[su_note note_color=”#fefccb”]The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Libyan News’s editorial policy.[/su_note]

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
Azara Media Azara Media
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: British Foreign Secretary: UK won’t rule out British ground troops in Libya

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.