Former British Prime Minister David Cameron was blamed for the rise of the Islamic State terror group in North Africa by a damning parliamentary inquiry, which blamed his “opportunist policy” for the botched 2011 intervention in Libya.
The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee MPs criticised the intervention by Britain and France that led to the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, when Cameron was Prime Minister.
“By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya,” the report says.
It accuses Cameron of backing regime change without a coherent strategy for the country after the removal of Gaddafi, The Times reports.
Britain and France led airstrikes on Libya after an uprising triggered by the Arab Spring. The threat of further violence by Gaddafi spurred Western powers to take action but since then thousands of people have been killed and unrest continues to this day. The 49-page report adds: “The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of [ISIS] in north Africa. “Through his decision-making…David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.”
After Gaddafi was toppled, Libya descended into violence, with rival governments and the formation of hundreds of militias, while so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIL and Daesh, has gained a foothold.