Egyptian security agencies are mulling the possibility of sending an elite anti-terror commando force to Libya to help fight militant groups in the embattled country, an Egyptian daily reported on Tuesday.
“There are intensive contacts with the Libyan side on the issue,” Shorouk newspaper quoted a high-level source as saying.
“If the Libyan side agrees, the force will be dispatched to fight along Libyan troops to combat terror,” added the source.
The source said the elite commandoes, codenamed Unit 999, are specialized in combatting international terrorism.
“The unit is on constant high alert and ready to deal with extremist and terrorist groups,” added the source.
On Monday, the Egyptian army launched airstrikes against targets of the ISIL in Libya, hours after a video showed the group’s execution of 21 Egyptian Christians who had travelled to Libya for work.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) will convene on Wednesday to discuss fighting “terrorism” in Libya, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in New York in the early hours of Monday with the aim of pushing for international action on Libya.
The Foreign Ministry said that Shoukry held talks with Jordan’s representative at the UNSC as well as Libya’s permanent representative at the UN.
It also said that Shoukry will meet with representatives of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to prepare for Wednesday’s meeting.
The UNSC has yet to officially confirm the claimed emergency session.
Fractious Libya has remained a source of concern for neighboring Egypt since it descended into chaos following the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
The Egyptian government – citing security concerns – also banned its citizens from travelling to Libya.