Obama refuses to deploy troops in the Libya North African country despite growing threat.
ISIS in Libya is rapidly gaining ground but the administration of president Obama has recently rejected a plan by the Pentagon to strike the terrorist group in the North African country.
Despite the very clear and present danger posed by ISIS in Libya, the current US administration has refused to agree to a military plan for going after the regional hub of the terrorist group. This was revealed to a newspaper by US defense officials.
During the past few weeks, the African and Special Operation Command of the US army has been pushing for conducting more airstrikes along with deployment of elite troops in Sirte. The city is the hometown of the slain Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The city is currently under ISIS control and serves as a regional headquarter of the extremist group.
The proposed airstrikes were supposed to target the resources of the terrorist group. Simultaneously, a tiny contingent of the elite US troops would train local Libyans to fight the group and eventually become members of a national army.
The New York Times was informed by high ranking US military officials that such a program was being planned but more time was needed to gather and analyze intelligence for launching an effective air campaign against ISIS in Libya. But those plans have been grounded by the current administration.
One official explained that the administration has simply no appetite for this kind of action. It would rather continue carrying out occasional strikes targeting high value individuals. America had conducted a successful strike on Abu Nabil al Anbari in November. He used to be the leader of ISIS in Libya. Instead, the U.S. will continue to do occasional strikes that target high value leaders, like the November.
“There’s nothing close to happening in terms of a major military operation. It will continue to be strikes like the kind we saw in November against Abu Nabil,” another defense official explained
The episode had laid bare the reluctance of the international community regarding the way its plans to conduct the war against ISIS.
Europe is very close to Libya. It is so close that Libyan shores are being used as staging grounds for refugees planning to enter into Europe through the Mediterranean Sea. ISIS in Libya has also pronounced that Rome is very near to it.
America, on the other hand, does not want another ISIS stronghold in the region. Sirte is currently under ISIL control and experts believe that the group wants to turn the city into a base of operations like Raqqa and Mosul in Syria and Iraq respectively.
European leaders are hinting that more should be done to curtail the group’s ambitions in North Africa; however, they have shied away from defining specifics.
America agencies estimate that there are at least 5000 fighters with ISIS in Libya. The count was less than 1000 only a few months ago. Supporters of the group who are unable to go to Iraq and Syria are seeking the group in Libya.