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Keeping the Islamic State in check in Libya

The international community hopes the new Libya government can bring together militias in an coordinated effort against Islamic State fighters.
Libyan soldiers manning a military outpost, stop a car at a checkpoint in Wadi Bey, west of the city of Sirte, which is held by Islamic State militants, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny - RTX28A55

After several failed attempts, the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) finally moved to Tripoli, arriving March 31. The international community praised the action, hoping it will be the first step toward not only unifying the country’s two rival governments but also coordinating a response to the Islamic State (IS).

The international community is expecting the GNA to take a leadership role in the fight against the militant terrorist group by uniting Libyan militias around an anti-IS strategy, as there are mounting concerns that IS will not only gain a foothold in the North African state but also seize the country’s oil reserves. “In addition to increased scrutiny of IS and occasional airstrikes, there is an interest in providing air support, training, etc., for an anti-IS effort,” said Issandr El Amrani, North Africa project director for the International Crisis Group.

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