ISIS is establishing a new stronghold in Libya as government forces in Iraq and Syria chase the terrorists out of its boltholes in the war-ravaged nations.
Terror experts claim the group is taking advantage of the chaotic security and political situation to use Libya as a launchpad for its resurgence.
Having been chased out of the capital Sirte last year, ISIS is now believed to be recruiting jihadis from rural southern regions and the western town of of Sabratha, just 60 miles from the Tunisian border.
ISIS fighters have recently been seen moving through the country, according to Mohamed Ghasri, a spokesperson and senior commander of the Mistrata-based al-Bunyam al-Marsous militia.
He said the terror group is ‘trying to regroup and break through our lines in the south’.
‘ISIS in Libya can regenerate quickly,’ security analyst Robert Young Pelton told Fox News.
This was echoed by Joseph Fallon of the UK Defence Forum who said the group’s global threat cannot be underestimated.
‘ISIS has retreated south of Sirte to regroup,’ he told Fox News. ‘Here, it can jeopardize western interests through guerrilla warfare sabotaging Libya’s oil facilities and ports and through calculated use of terror to unleash a mass migration of people to destabilize neighboring countries and Europe.’
Libya has some of Africa’s biggest oil reserves – many of which are located just south of Sirte – and produces more than 800,000 barrels every day.
More fighters are expected to flood While more fighters are now expected to flow into Libya as the pressure on Iraq and Syria mounts, exactly how big the ISIS ranks in Libya are at present, remains largely contested.
Backed by a US-led coalition, Iraqi forces recaptured the city of Mosul from ISIS in July.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters are now trying to capture the northern city of Raqqa, ISIS’s de-facto capital in Syria.
Source: Daily Mail