“In June the IS affiliate seized the coastal city of Sirte, 450 kilometers east of Tripoli, vanquishing in the process one of strongest battalions, the 166th, from the militia-rich town of Misrata, a key backer of the Tripoli government.” But don’t be concerned: Barack Obama says they’re losing!
“Islamic State Launches Attack on Libyan Airport,” by Jamie Dettmer, Voice of America, September 19, 2015:
Militants loyal to the extremist Islamic State group managed to penetrate an air base Friday on the outskirts of Tripoli that serves as the Libyan capital’s only working airport and launch an attack on the headquarters of an Islamist militia that is opposed to them.
The attack by a suicide squad composed of at least four militants is one of the most aggressive forays the Islamic State has made on the Libyan capital. Four assailants were killed, according to a spokesman for the mainly Islamist upstart Tripoli-run government — the rival to the internationally recognized administration now in exile in the eastern Libyan towns of Tobruk and Beida.
At least three members of the Special Deterrence Force, a 700-member militia loyal to the Tripoli government, were killed, rebuffing the assault. The Tripoli government issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the SDF fighters killed and emphasized its determination “to fight and eliminate terrorism.”
The attack comes as the U.N.’s special envoy to Libya, the Spanish diplomat Bernardino Leon, is seeking to hammer out a complicated power-sharing deal to rid fractious Libya of its parallel rival governments. Under the Leon deal the factions would form a government of national accord, but talks are faltering ahead of a September 20 deadline.
Leon has said his announced deadline is the “very last moment” for Libyans to come together.
The Islamic State has exploited the turmoil in Libya and has been striking in territory controlled by both the upstart government in Tripoli and the internationally recognized one in the east of the North African country. In June the IS affiliate seized the coastal city of Sirte, 450 kilometers east of Tripoli, vanquishing in the process one of strongest battalions, the 166th, from the militia-rich town of Misrata, a key backer of the Tripoli government….