News / Middle East

Libya PM: US Raid Will Not Hurt Ties

Morocco's Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane (R) and his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan speak to the media during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, Oct. 8, 2013.
Morocco's Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane (R) and his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan speak to the media during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, Oct. 8, 2013.
Reuters
Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Tuesday that relations with the United States would not be affected by a U.S. military raid that captured an al-Qaida suspect in Tripoli, but he said Libyan suspects should be tried in in their own country.

His comments reflected a desire to keep on board a key foreign ally in the fight to control worsening violence, at the same time as appeasing Islamist militants who have taken over swaths of Libya and use it as a safe haven.

Militant groups angered by Saturday's raid have taken to social networking sites to call for revenge attacks on strategic targets including gas export pipelines, planes and ships, as well as for the kidnappings of Americans in the capital.

In the operation, U.S. special forces seized Nazih al-Ragye - known by his alias Abu Anas al-Liby - a Libyan who is a suspect in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 civilians.

“Our relationship with the USA is important, and we care about that, but we care, too, about our citizens, which is our duty,” Zeidan told reporters after a meeting with the Moroccan government in Rabat.

“They helped us with our revolution. Our relationship will not be affected by this event, which we will settle in the way that we need to,” said Zeidan.

The United States was a key ally of rebels who overthrew long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi two years ago.

But since then much of Libya has descended into lawlessness as militants, some of them affiliated to the al-Qaida network, use it to smuggle weapons and as a base for fighters.

Zeidan said Libyan citizens should be judged in Libya, and that Tripoli was in contact with U.S. authorities to “take all necessary measures in this affair.” Libya summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss the issue.

U.S. officials say Liby is being held aboard a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Raising fears of a violent backlash from angry militants, some groups have called for revenge attacks.

Messages posted by Libyan jihadists on the Internet and monitored by the SITE service included a Facebook page called “Benghazi is Protected by its People.”

It told Libyans to close off entrances and exits to Tripoli, and to kidnap citizens of the United States and its allies in order to use them to bargain for the release of imprisoned militants.

It also urged them to damage pipelines exporting gas to Europe, and target ships and planes.

A separate group called “the Revolutionaries of Benghazi - al-Bayda, Derna” accused Libya's leaders of having prior knowledge of the operation. Zeidan said at the weekend the government had asked the United States to explain the raid.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs