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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Islamic State advances in Libya while Obama golfs

ISIS fighters train at a camp in Benghazi, Libya, May 2015.
Media Office Wilayat Barqa/Islamic State group. (ibtimes)

Hillary & Obama's ISIS Libya

  • A "crazy" Blogger like me might think the Democrats want ISIS to spread all over the Middle East and Africa.  Bit it would be wrong to say that, so I won't.

(Long War Journal)  -  Fighters loyal to the Islamic State continue to gain ground in the Libyan city of Sirte and its surrounding areas. Earlier today, one of the Islamic State’s official Libyan branches announced that its fighters have captured a power plant outside of the coastal city. The announcement, seen above, was posted online and disseminated via Twitter.
The Islamic State began targeting Sirte earlier this year, when the jihadists stormed a radio station, government buildings, a university, and a hospital. In May, the group’s fighters went on the offensive in the city again, seizing infrastructure points in the process. The jihadists took control of a military airbase and a civilian airport, as well as part of a massive Qaddafi-era water irrigation project.
Then, earlier this month, the Islamic State announced that its fighters had taken “complete control” of the village of Harawa, which is not far from Sirte. A photo set posted online (seen below) shows the Islamic State’s fighters congratulating one another after securing the village.

Sirte is not the only area of Libya under assault by the Islamic State’s fighters, who are located in several parts of the country. In February, the jihadists set up shop in the town of Nawfaliyah. The group continues to battle General Khalifa al Haftar’s forces in Benghazi, maintains a presence in Derna, and regularly attacks various targets in Misrata, Tripoli, and elsewhere.
The Islamic State has repeatedly targeted foreign embassies in Tripoli, but many of the diplomatic facilities have already been evacuated. However, in January, the group assaulted a hotel frequented by diplomats and Westerners. A former US Marine who was working as a security contractor was among the victims. [See LWJ report, Analysis: Former US Marine killed by Islamic State’s Tripoli ‘province’.]
These military assaults have been accompanied by the Islamic State’s usual barbarity, including mass killings of Christians and others.
The Long War Journal assesses that there are at least a few thousand jihadists in the Islamic State’s ranks inside Libya.
Since the height of the Iraq War, North Africa has housed a significant recruiting and facilitation pipeline. Many of the recruits sent to Iraq and Syria fought for the Islamic State and its predecessor organization, al Qaeda in Iraq, providing Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization with a resource pool to draw from. The group has grown quickly in North Africa since last year by redeploying fighters from the heart of the Middle East, poaching members of other groups, and continuing with its own recruitment drives.
As with the mother organization in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State is taking on multiple enemies inside Libya, including other jihadist and Islamist organizations.
In particular, the Islamic State has targeted Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn), a coalition of militias. The two sides have fought one another in Sirte and elsewhere for months. After a Tunisian suicide bomber blew himself up at a Fajr Libya checkpoint last week, the group issued a threatening statement. 
“The apostates of Fajr Libya…must know that a war is coming to cleanse the land of their filth unless they repent and go back to their true religion,” Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted the Islamic State as saying.
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Islamic State’s official Libyan branches announced that its
fighters have captured a power plant on the coast.

ISIS in Libya, Africa
ISIS militants drive in procession through the northeastern Libyan city of Sirte, in a video released by the group on Feb. 19, 2015.

 (CBS News)  -  
Militants purportedly from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attacked an oil field near Libya's central coast, prompting a counterattack by the country's Islamist-backed government that included airstrikes, an official said.

The militants swept down from the city of Sirte to attack the al-Dhahra oil field, trading fire with guards and blowing up residential and administrative buildings before retreating, said Mashallah al-Zewi, the oil minister in the Tripoli-based government.
"They surrounded the site from three different directions, and when guards ran out of ammunition, they stormed the place, looted everything and then bombed the buildings, leaving them in ruins," he said.
All employees and workers, including foreigners, were safely evacuated, he said.
Sick but true.

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