World

AP Interview: Libya PM wants allied airstrikes against Islamic State group, not ground troops

In this Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 photo, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni listens to a question during an interview with the Associated Press in Bayda, Libya. Libya's internationally-recognized prime minister said Wednesday wants allied countries to carry out airstrikes against local Islamic State affiliates but does not want foreign ground troops, Arab or otherwise. (AP Photo/Ali Al-Shaary)

In this Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 photo, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni listens to a question during an interview with the Associated Press in Bayda, Libya. Libya's internationally-recognized prime minister said Wednesday wants allied countries to carry out airstrikes against local Islamic State affiliates but does not want foreign ground troops, Arab or otherwise. (AP Photo/Ali Al-Shaary)  (The Associated Press)

Libya's internationally-recognized prime minister wants allied countries to carry out airstrikes against local Islamic State affiliates but does not want foreign ground troops, Arab or otherwise.

Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said in an interview Wednesday his government urgently needs weapons and other support to battle IS in Libya, and has been let down by the international community.

Al-Thinni wants his own ground forces to direct strikes "from an Arab coalition — either nations on their own or in clusters — to eliminate these groups."

Al-Thinni's government has been campaigning for the U.N. to lift an arms embargo in place since the 2011 revolt that overthrew and killed Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya is now split between al-Thinni's government in the far east and a rival Islamist militia-backed government in the capital, Tripoli.