Witnesses are reporting a new round of airstrikes by Egyptian warplanes against the Libyan city of Derna, a followup launched after last week’s strikes, which were claimed by Egypt to be retaliatory for a militant attack on a busload of Christians.
Derna is known as a breeding ground for Libyan Islamist factions, and was the home of the nation’s ISIS affiliate, though it was ultimately expelled by rival factions. The militants within the city, however, warn Egypt’s claims that they were involved in the bus attack was “baseless,” and indeed, ISIS has claimed credit for that attack.
And while Egypt has offered no specific details on who they were targeting or killing in Derna, local factions issued a statement warning that many of the strikes weren’t hitting militant targets at all, but were just hitting random civilian bystanders.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry argues that Derna is a “direct threat” to them, suggesting the strikes will continue. At the same time,, Libya has so many factions, spread across so many different areas, that airstrikes against a few camps around a single city amount to little more than poking the hornet’s nest.