Intelligence sources in Libya have reported a significant increase in ISIS activities in the country as the group appears to be regrouping and reemerging in the war-torn country. The Islamic State has suffered massive blows in the recent weeks in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq and as such has been seeking refuge in its alternative havens.
However, as the reports indicate, the militants are attempting to regroup in the desert, seeing as they have been driven out of their strongholds like Sirte on the Mediterranean Sea.
IS militants in the desert area are being organized by Iraqi national Abdul Qader al-Najdi, also known as Abu Moaz Al Tikriti, with support from other IS leaders, including Mahmoud Al Bur’si and Hashim Abu Sid.
Consequently, the US military has acted upon the intelligence and has conducted airstrikes against the ISIS militants in Libya southeast of Sirte and has killed several fighters.
Six other U.S. airstrikes last Friday killed 17 IS members and destroyed three vehicles in a desert camp approximately 150 miles southeast of Sirte, according to AFRICOM. Experts have warned that the militants could gain ground if the fragile political climate is not maintained especially caused by the civil war. The civil war has divided the country into two governments, the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli and the Russian-backed Libyan National Army in Tobruk.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has said that the number of ISIS fighters in Libya has reduced drastically from 6000 strong in 2016 to less than 500 suspected to be active currently.