French officials say that they believe Islamists based in the southern Libyan desert are likely behind a recent attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, though President Hollande says that there are no current plans for France to attack southern Libya in response.
The embassy attack is blowback on a number of fronts. France led a NATO attack on Libya just two years ago, imposing regime change that left the region awash in weapons. Those arms fueled a lot of region-wide violence, including a secessionist war in Northern Mali, which led to a French invasion of that nation as well, aiming to prop up the junta.
This is virtually the path of those Islamists, indeed, with many of the militants active in northern Mali simply transitioning back into Libya when the French invaded, and holding another grudge against them.
In the meantime, Mali isn’t getting any more stable. Just as the first militants went back to Libya, a new crop of heavily armed fighters from Nigeria are heading into Mali, creating yet another enemy for France to fight. and more possibilities for more blowback to come.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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