Britain's Libya intervention led to growth of ISIS, inquiry finds

Libyan rebels battle government troops as smoke from a damaged oil facility darkens the skyline on March 11, 2011, in Ras Lanuf, Libya.

Story highlights

  • Report says former PM Cameron failed to develop sound strategy
  • Intervention contributed to a political chaos, inquiry found

London (CNN)Britain's military intervention in Libya was based on "inaccurate intelligence" and "erroneous assumptions," a report released Wednesday found, pointing the finger at former Prime Minister David Cameron for failing to develop a sound Libya strategy.

The United Kingdom and France led the international intervention in Libya in 2011 with the aim of protecting civilians from forces loyal to then-leader Moammar Gadhafi.
    But Britain's Foreign Affairs Committee found that the Cameron-led government "failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element."
    A man holds a burning poster of Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi in March 2011.

    Policy 'drifted towards regime change'

    "The consequence was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal (warfare), humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations and the growth of ISIL in North Africa," the report said, using an alternative name for the ISIS militant group, which has gained control of parts of Libya.
    The committee found that Britain's policies on Libya that had intended to protect civilians had instead "drifted towards regime change and was not underpinned by strategy to support and shape post-Gadhafi Libya."
    Moammar Gadhafi (seen here in 1985) was overthrown and summarily executed in October 2011.