The White House said that the United States is concerned about the growing threat from Islamic State operating in Libya, the USA will continue to work alongside their allies in North Africa to address the security threat. According to Reuters the USA is also considering to build a base in North Africa, in order to monitor the actions of Islamic State, as well as having drones nearby, which could be an effective threat to IS.
This decision made by the USA may have come from the recent withdrawal of IS from Derna, an eastern city of Libya, which at one point was known as the Islamic State stronghold. Islamic State has accepted the fact that they have lost control of Derna to “The Council of Mujahedeen in Derna” (TCMD, hereinafter)
Observers say, that this is not the end of Islamic State in Libya, IS’s main strategy has never been one of confrontation, as soon as they feel they face an opposition stronger than themselves, they fall back and regroup, then wait for the right time in order for them to regain control. Some observers have even warned this withdrawal of IS from Derna could be a trap, or another manoeuvre made by Islamic State.
In a ten minute video released by the “media office of the province of Barqa”, a man dressed in military clothing declared that, the Islamic State group have acknowledged their loss, but have sworn to “avenge” their fighters.
Derna has been exposed to ferocious fighting in recent weeks between Islamic State and TCMD, TCMD has been fighting with IS since June, the group took control of the city by slowly taking control of parts of it, then they overthrew Islamic State at the beginning of July.
With the dialogue for Libya chaired by UNSMIL taking place in Skhirat, which is supported by the USA and the EU, the war taking place on the ground with IS, as well as the USA’s intention to build a nearby base, does this mean that the west is willing to help in the battle as well as the dialogue?