Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called for a United Nations resolution that would mandate the creation of an international coalition in Libya, one day after it bombed ISIS targets there.
"There is no other choice, taking into account the agreement of the Libyan people and government and that they call on us to act," he told France's Europe 1 radio in an interview aired on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The call to action comes after a Sunday video showed the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, prompting airstrikes from Egypt and Libya, and raising the possibility that ISIS, which has been mainly active in Iraq and Syria, may be spreading further.
Sisi said that, following the 2011 war in Libya where Western governments helped local forces overthrow Muammar Gaddafi's government, the international community “abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias.”
He said that arms and aid should be supplied to the embattled government in the Libyan port city of Tobruk, and also called on independent militias to hand over their arms.
The country is currently under an international arms embargo, in response to human rights violations by the government, including the state suppression of peaceful protests, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported, adding that the sanctions have been maintained in the face of political instability.
The Libyan government confirmed it had launched airstrikes against ISIS targets as well. Egypt has coordinated military action with the Libyan government previously as well, with Sisi voicing concerns about the Libyan civil war affecting Egypt since he came to power last year.
The Libyan government had previously said it welcomed the Egyptian intervention. "We strongly support Egyptian military intervention to strike Daaesh [an alternate name for ISIS] and other terrorist groups,” Major General Khalifa Haftar had said on Monday.