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Azzaman: Islamic State and Tunisian front

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Azzaman newspaper published the article entitled “Islamic State and a Tunisian front” by Hussein Ali Al-Hamdany, which LIBYAPROSPECT translates for its readers.

Hussein Ali Al-Hamdany
Hussein Ali Al-Hamdany

Tunisia witnessed a huge attack by Islamic State (IS) linked terrorist groups that aimed at occupying a non-small city 30 km off the Libyan borders named Ben-Guerdane to hold an Islamic Emirate that opens the way to invade Tunisia, which failed completely.

The article continued stating that the attack wasn’t the first and won’t be the last, as southern border of Tunisia usually witnesses similar operations on smaller scale.

Moreover, Tunisia’s borders with Algeria impose danger on Tunisia’s security. Any observer of the neighboring Libya won’t be surprised by this expected operation for many reasons, of the most important is that Tunisia is one of the biggest exporting countries for terrorists. Around 12.000 Tunisians have joined the IS group in addition to others from Libya and other IS territories. Ben-Guerdane was targeted for its geographic position, which is strategic for smuggling oil derivatives and foreign currency. It is also the nearest point for the crossing of illegal migration to Europe. Consequently, there is more than one goal that terrorist groups will try to achieve in the city.

The other side is summarized in the group’s trials to open new fronts to ease the pressure on it in Libya as the international alliance has in mind the goal of terminating it, the writer continued.

The third factor is that Tunisia represents the security fragile part, which can be easily breached given there are many sleeper cells inside Tunisian cities, especially the border ones which eases exit and entry of terrorists to other countries. That pushed Tunisia into building a barrier wall with Libya to avoid any security breaches that may affect it.

The article concluded that; as observers for the group’s movements, we can conclude that the IS strategy is very clear and is summarized in its trial to move its operations’ scene from the Arab Orient to the Maghreb side; it choses Libya and Tunisia after it retreated a lot in Syria and Iraq. It loses a lot of strength on the geographic, finance, resources and man power, while a United Nations activity is underway concerning Syria that excluded the IS linked groups from any future plan. Its strong strikes in Iraq makes it searching for a new geographic strategy for chaos.