France says fight against so-called Islamic State in Libya is “priority”

PARIS, June 10 (KUNA) — France said on Friday that the fight against extremists from the so-called Islamic State in Libya is “a priority” for Paris and officials here welcomed reports that government forces were making gains against the extremists in the city of Sirte.
Forces loyal to the National Unity Government in Tripoli are reported to have entered Sirte on Thursday and were progressing in what is the self-appointed capital and the bastion of IS forces in Libya.
“We are following the situation in Sirte in a very attentive manner,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said at a briefing here.
“The fight against Daesh (IS) is a priority,” the senior official added.
Sirte, which is about 450 kilometres east of Tripoli, has been under the control of the extremists for some time and they have been trying to extend their influence throughout the region.
The attack Thursday was carried out using naval, air and ground forces which have penetrated into the city.
“We welcome the advances made under the authority of the government of (Prime Minister Fayez) Al-Sarraj. It is essential that the forces in the country unite behind him,” Nadal said.
France is currently pushing in the UN Security Council for a reinforcement of the arms embargo against Libya, but would allow the National Unity Government to purchase weapons under certain exemptions. (end) jk.ajs