Al Monitor quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Karim Mezran on whether the UN arms embargo on Libya should be lifted given ISIS’s growing control within the country:
Some experts, however, say the IS threat is being used to scare the international community into getting behind Libyan forces that are not only opposed to the radical group, but are also determined to take back Tripoli from Libya Dawn’s more moderate Islamists by force. Karim Mezran, a Libyan-Italian senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said lifting the ban would further sideline those Libyans who want a negotiated settlement with Islamic Dawn.
“It decreases the incentive to negotiate,” Mezran told Al-Monitor. He said the idea of lumping together all Islamists into a “big octopus” was a myth being pushed by people like Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the head of a military campaign against Libyan Islamists of all stripes.
“The big debate now,” Mezran said, “is does parliament control Hifter — or does Hifter control parliament?”