US and UK authorities are piling pressure on Libya to take in 1,000 British troops, allegedly to bolster its defenses against Islamic State (Daesh) militants, British media said Monday.
Libya has been mired in a civil war since the overthrow of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Power vacuum caused numerous militant groups to rise to power around the country, particularly Daesh, which has been carrying out attacks on Libya’s oil infrastructure.
London and Washington have been sending their military and diplomats to find allies among Libya’s rival governments and militia forces that would agree to receive assistance from British troops in the fight against an estimated 3,000 Daesh militants in the country, The Times said.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned in December that Daesh was expanding inward from the northern Libyan coast under its control. This could trigger a new wave of migration into Europe.
Last week, US media reported that President Barack Obama was making plans to open a third front against the Daesh terrorist group in Libya, following military operations in Syria and Iraq.