The West Moves Discreetly in Libya
Strafor has written a general overview of how Western secret ops are interfacing with various Libyan militias in the fight against IS. There is no new news here but it is a good overview and puts about 200 French special ops on the ground in Benghazi.
Satellite imagery confirms the arrival of French special operations forces to Benina air base near Benghazi, Libya. The base, which is under the control of Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s forces, was rumored to host as many as 180 French soldiers in February, but this has been neither confirmed nor denied.
For several reasons, Western militaries must be discreet as they expand into Libya. First, many Libyans vehemently oppose their presence, forcing Western countries to operate under the radar to avoid political repercussions. Second, Western militaries must work delicately with Libya’s many different groups without getting pulled into competing rivalries. Finally, since many Libyans despise Gen. Hifter, French support of his forces is especially controversial. Still, his allies’ gains against militants in Benghazi make working with the general useful for French and other Western militaries.
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