February 18, 2015 | Quote

Islamic State Gains Libya Foothold

Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer, is quoted by Foreign Policy magazine as saying that there are an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 fighters loyal to IS in Libya, many of whom acquired combat experience in Iraq and Syria.

IS-linked fighters operate in Tripoli, the south-western region of Fezzan, and the eastern region of Barqa, which includes Benghazi and Derna.

However, Thomas Joscelyn, senior editor of the Long War Journal, says that while IS has grown in Libya, its strength should not be exaggerated.

“These zones are more aspirational than they are real,” Mr Joscelyn told Foreign Policy.

Even if IS control in Libya is limited to a few small areas, it still has the potential to make the country's desperate situation even worse, threatening regional stability.

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