Libya has become an attractive destination for foreign militants who mainly transit through Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey.
A panel of six UN experts said In a report to the Security Council that ISIS is taking advantage of the “political and security vacuum,” which was created in Libya after the NATO-backed ouster of former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.
According to the report, ISIS has successfully recruited young men from local tribes and also enlisted military officers from the former regime of Gaddafi in recent years.
Libya has become an attractive destination for foreign militants who mainly transit through Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey, adding that significant numbers of foreign terrorists have arrived in the ISIS-held coastal city of Sirte, the report also said.
“ISIS not currently generates direct revenue from the exploitation of oil in Libya, its attacks against oil installations seriously compromise the country’s economic stability, Libyans have increasingly fallen victim to the terrorist group’s brutalities, culminating in several mass killings,” as stated in the report.
The report also said that Libya is likely to increase the level of international and regional interference, which could provoke further polarization if not coordinated.
The UN experts also told that the terrorist group has also made inroads in the capital Tripoli, the western city of Sabrata and eastern city of Benghazi over the past months.
Recently, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon and the highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command have provided the White House with “the most detailed set of military options yet” in Libya. On the other hand, France’s Le Monde newspaper also reported last month that the country’s special forces and members of the DGSE external security service were in Libya for “clandestine operations” in cooperation with the US and Britain.
In mid-February, Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni accused Ankara of interference in his country’s internal affairs.
Since Gaddafi was toppled and later killed in 2011 amid NATO airstrikes, Libya has been struggling with violence and political uncertainty, ISIS took advantage of the chaos and captured Libya’s northern port city of Sirte in June 2015, almost four months after it announced its presence in the city, and made it the first city to be ruled by ISIS terrorist group outside of Iraq and Syria.