Coalition of western Special Forces have been sent to Libya in joint operation to tackle Islamic State fighters and smash people-smuggling rings. Hundreds of IS fighters are pouring into North Africa after defeats in Raqqa and Mosul.
Much of the migrant influx has originated from Colonel Gadaffi’s former stronghold which is feared to be turning into a failed state. British, US, French and Italian forces have been deployed to Libya in a top-secret operation to deny ISIL any opportunity to establish a base in Libya. The British Special Forces have deployed eighty members of the Special Boat Service (SBS), supported by 40 British specialists.
The force is also targeting smuggling cartels and pressing the Libyan forces to take stronger action against people traffickers by destroying boats.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson referred to the “gaping exit” that Libya presents on the Mediterranean’s southern shores after a meeting in May with the country’s prime minister Fayyez Al-Serraj. He added:
“If Libya continues in its current condition we risk having a failed state – a haven for terrorists, gun runners and people traffickers – only a few miles from the EU’s southern shores.”
ISIL fighters from Libya are thought to be sneaking into Europe by infiltrating a scheme designed to help wounded Libyan soldiers receive hospital treatment in Italy. The British forces include drone specialists who can monitor open deserts and an electronic warfare team to harvest communication ‘chatter’ from mobile phones.