Islamic State likely to become Libya’s dominant armed group, enabling it to threaten North African energy assets
Watch your energy prices going up again. Obama does nothing to help protect the world’s energy supply and our economy.
This is from IHS Jane’s…a highly credible source.
Richard Cochrane – IHS Jane’s Intelligence Weekly
28 May 2015
An anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in front an oil refinery, after the capture of the oil town of Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya in March 2011. Source: PA
The Islamic State has rapidly expanded its capabilities in Libya since late 2014, launching attacks against the forces of both governments and the oil sector that supplies their revenues.
In the probable absence of a unified Libyan government approach to combating the group, it is likely to become the dominant armed group in the 12- to 18-month outlook.
This will position the group to use Libya as a springboard to launch attacks against energy assets in Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, in line with the strategy employed in Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State’s progress in Libya has been rapid, transforming from one of a proliferation of armed groups in the country to posing a serious challenge to one of its most powerful militias. In the probable absence of peace between Libya’s rival governments, the group is poised to become the country’s most powerful armed group.
The Islamic State took full control of the central city of Sirte in early 2015, just months after consolidating its hold over the eastern city of Derna in November 2014. It also has operations in the western town of Sabratah, assessed to be a major training location for aspiring jihadists, and a presence in the southern city of Sebha. Control of these locations places Islamic State fighters within several hours’ driving of all Libya’s major urban areas, and most of its oil production and export facilities. It also gives the group control of several key transportation arteries in Libya, including the main east-west coastal highway, access to the Tunisian border from Tripoli, and the gateway to the western oilfields in the Murzuq Basin.
The group is using existing migrant-smuggling routes to move fighters and materiel into Libya. A group of 27 foreign fighte