Sunday, March 15, 2015

Libya - Islamic Militia Fighting ISIS


News from Tripoli received from XinHua Network in Cairo on March 14: Libya's religious militia forces "Libyan Dawn" have burst into serious clashes with armed personnel of the extremist organization "Islamic State" in the northern town of Sirte on [March] 14. This is the first outbreak of clashes between both sides since Sirte was occupied by the "Islamic State" in February.


Sirte is the hometown of former Libyan leader Gaddafi. This year, in the middle of February, the "Islamic State" [i.e. ISIS] step by step began to dominate Sirte. They took over control of the local government building, the university and the radio station. Soon after, the "Libyan Dawn" entered and remained in Sirte suburbs, saying that armed personnel of the "Islamic State" needed to be rushed out of Sirte. However, no military operation was carried out.


On [March] 14, clashes broke out between the "Libyan Dawn" and armed personnel of [ISIS] the "Islamic State". In the capital of Tripoli, Omar al-Hasi, the prime minister of Libya's "government of national salvation" convened a press conference where he indicated he would not tolerate the "Islamic State" to expand in Libya.

[Source: People's Network quoting XinHua Network 新华网 on March 15, 2015]

Position of Sirte (Surt)

Libya is known to be ruled by two opposing governments, that one in Tripoli and another one in Tobruk near the Egyptian border. Even though the Tobruk administration is internationally accepted, especially by western countries, the regime in Tripoli is in control of essential parts of Libya. It is being supported by "Libyan Dawn", an Islamist coalition.

As to the presence of the "Islamic State" ISIS in Libya, here the following information:
ISIS has expanded its influence from Syria and Iraq where it has set up a "caliphate" and gained a foothold in Libya, where it has claimed several bombings.

Last month a Libyan branch of ISIS claimed the beheading of 21 Christians, mostly Egyptians, prompting Cairo to launch retaliatory air strikes on jihadist targets in the North African country.

No comments: