ISIS Now Controls the Libyan City of Derna and Is Aiming to Expand West

TIME

Islamist militants loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) are now reportedly in control of the Libyan city of Derna near the Egyptian border.

The city is only a few hours from Tobruk, where the remnants of Libya’s central government fled to after being forced out of the capital Tripoli in the summer, CNN says. Its adds that ISIS will now seek to exploit the country’s political turmoil to strike west along the Mediterranean coast.

Approximately 300 of the 800 strong force in control of Derna are reportedly hard-bitten Libyan jihadists who fought with ISIS’s al Battar Brigade in Syria’s Deir Ezzor and later in Mosul, Iraq.

In a rare audio address released last week, ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formal recognition of several, new satellite franchises associated with the group, including the Libyan militants who have pledged allegiance to the so-called caliphate.

Libya…

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