France, Britain, and Italy All Expanding ISIS War Into Libya

Italian PM Spurned Call to Attack Syria, But Seeks Authorization to Attack Libya

With a Sunday conference coming up in Rome to discuss Libya, it seems expanding the ISIS war out of Iraq and Syria is all but a foregone conclusion, with Britain, France, and Italy all talking up the idea today in separate comments.

French PM Manuel Valis suggested that expanding into Libya was important because of growing efforts to radicalize French citizens. French officials have eagerly escalated attacks on ISIS targets in Syria in recent weeks, but with many of those attacks hitting empty fields, they may like to try a different nation full of targets.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi, who only last week rejected calls to join the ISIS war in Syria, is also suggesting he’s totally open to sending forces into Libya, though unlike the French he is said to want UN authorization before the deployment.

Interestingly enough, Renzi’s rejection of involvement in Syria was couched as specifically because of what a disaster the NATO intervention in Libya was, and how it left that nation in an even bigger mess than it found it. That apparently doesn’t preclude the Italian premier from wanting to try that again.

British officials, by contrast, aren’t publicly commenting on it, but privately are saying that Libya is almost certain to be “next” in the ever-expanding war. This soon after getting a hotly debated parliamentary vote through on Syria, however, the Cameron government may struggle to push through a Libya resolution as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.