Adding to the details about the US deployment of special forces into Libya to prepare for a ground invasion of the country, officials today revealed that two “military outposts” have been established in the country since late 2015, each containing “fewer than 25” troops.
Details are scant, but the bases are said to be located near Misrata and Benghazi, respectively. It is noteworthy that neither of these areas are under the control of either of the UN-backed governments, though Misrata is largely aligned with the Tripoli parliament, a third government that the UN doesn’t recognize.
Benghazi, by contrast, is mostly under the control of an Islamist Shura Council which expelled ISIS and other foreign Islamist groups. The city is intermittently attacked by forces allied with the Tobruk parliament, but so far without much progress.
Neither base is particularly close to ISIS-controlled territory in Libya, which is centered around the city of Sirte. The Pentagon has previously acknowledged that there are an unspecified number of troops in Libya, and that they are trying to make contact with “potential allies” in the country.
In practice, the US and other Western nations have shown eagerness to ally with the new “unity government,” though the government controls no territory, has no real military forces of its own, and its value seems to be limited to giving the imprimatur to a Western invasion.
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