Libya Announces Anti-ISIS Task Force
In his Wall Street Journal article, Tamer El-Ghobashy reports on the Libyan unity government’s announcement to form a military task force against ISIS following the group’s most aggressive attempt to gain territory in months. It remains unclear how the joint task force will be formed or whether any militia commanders will heed the unity government’s call.
Late Thursday, Islamic State’s Tripoli Province, one of the three affiliates in the country, struck the Abu Grain checkpoint, 75 miles southeast of the commercial hub of Misrata, with a suicide car-bombing followed by a wave of gunfire. At least eight members of the security force that controls Misrata were killed in the coordinated attack, a senior security official said. Fighters for Tripoli Province said they had seized six towns near the checkpoint…They also had tightened their grip on the checkpoint, effectively severing the route used by the Misrata security force to supply its allies farther south in the province, the security official said.
The assault was launched from the coastal city of Sirte, which the extremist group has controlled since last year. The only city Islamic State governs outside its self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq, Sirte is home to about 5,000 Islamic State members, U.S. and Libyan officials estimate.
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