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Italy to Deploy First 200 Soldiers, Military Hospital in Misurata, Libya
13/09/2016 05:38:00
"Riconquista della Libia": L'impiccagione di Omar al Muktar a Solukil 16 settembre 1931.Wikipedia

Tripoli—Speculations about Italian military intervention in Libya and official Italian denials have now come to an end as the government is about to announce that it is to send 200 soldiers to be stationed in Misurata along with a military hospital staffed by about 100 doctors and nurses.

It is not clear as of the exact timing of the deployment of these Italian forces to Libya as yet.

Reuters quoted an Italian government source on Monday as saying that the Italian move came at a request by the UN-backed Tripoli government.

Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni may provide further details when they address parliament on Tuesday about "the situation in Libya", said Reuters.

The Italian deployment will be the first ever Italian military intervention in Libya since its independence in 1951. Libya was occupied by Italy from 1911 to 1943 when it was defeated by the Allies in World War II.

On August 22, the internationally recognized Libyan parliament voted against a motion of confidence in the Government of National Accord (GNA) which was unable to extend its authority beyond the walls of a tiny naval base in the capital Tripoli.

In an interview with Switzerland's Neue Zuercher Zeitung that was on 12 August, UN Libya Envoy Martin Kobler said that the GNA was crumbling and had lost the sympathy it received in April as it did not meet the expectations of the people amid sever power outages and a weakening currency.

According to Reuters, the alleged hospital near the Misurata airport will be staffed by about 100 doctors and nurses and guarded by some 200 soldiers.

The source told Reuters it "should be a safe location, but not too far from the battle zone".

It is not clear what battle zone the Italians are talking about when the forces fighting IS terrorists in Sirte have announced that the fighting is almost over with the help of more than 140 US air strikes launched against the terrorists in the past six weeks.


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