21-05-2022 09:17 PM Jerusalem Timing

French, British, US Soldiers ‘Monitoring’ Libya

French, British, US Soldiers ‘Monitoring’ Libya

French, British and American soldiers are in Libya to "monitor" ISIL extremists, a military commander in the east of the country told AFP Thursday

French, British and American soldiers are in Libya to "monitor" ISIL extremists, a military commander in the east of the country told AFP Thursday.

"French, American and British soldiers are in the Benina base" near Benghazi, said air force chief Saqr al-Jaroushi, whose forces are allied with a government based out of the eastern city of Tobruk that is not recognized by the international community.

He said around 20 soldiers at the base were charged with "monitoring the movements of ISIL extremists and how they store ammunition."

"There are no (foreign) pilots fighting in the place of our pilots and fighters," he said.

He added that other foreign military personnel were carrying out similar tasks at other bases and towns across Libya, including the capital Tripoli, Misrata, 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the east and Tobruk in the far east of the country.

Jaroushi commands the air force that forms part of the forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar and the House of Representatives in Tobruk, a rival to the Government of National Unity (GNA) that operates out of Tripoli.

France, Britain and the U.S. recognize the GNA as the legitimate government of Libya.

Jaroushi's remarks come a day after the GNA criticized the presence of French troops in the chaos-wracked country, as President Francois Hollande confirmed France has soldiers there after three died in a helicopter crash.