AS REPORTED TODAY BY IBTIMES:
ISIS In Libya Update: Egypt Reportedly Readying Assault On Islamic State Group Positions
Egypt reportedly is preparing a large-scale ground and air assault along the Libyan border to oust the Islamic State group from eastern Libya. DebkaFile, quoting military and intelligence sources, said naval and marine forces are assembling at Egypt’s Mediterranean ports for a possible assault on Derna, the militants’ provincial capital.
DebkaFile noted the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, represents an unacceptable threat to Egypt, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been warned extremists already have penetrated some Egyptian towns and military units. ISIS fighters are being smuggled through the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt from Syria and Iraq by drug rings, DebkaFile said.
Libya has deteriorated to near-chaos since former strongman Moammar Gadhafi was dragged from a drainage pipe and executed in 2011 following a NATO-led air campaign to oust him. The country has been divided by warring factions — one led by the legitimate government operating out of Tobruk and the other led by militias operating out of Tripoli. The West has been reluctant to intervene further since terrorists burned the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in 2012.
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DEBKAFILE REPORTS HERE:
The Middle East is on the brink of its fourth war (after Syria, Iraq and Yemen). DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that Egypt is massing large-scale ground and air forces in the Western Desert along the Libyan border, in preparation for a military campaign to capture eastern Libya – Cyrenaica – from the Islamist State of Syria and Iraq – ISIS – occupation.
The substantial naval and marine forces assembling at Egypt’s Mediterranean ports indicate the possible launching of the offensive by dropping Egyptian marines on the Libyan coast around Derna (pop: 100,000), which ISIS has made its provincial capital. They may be accompanied by simultaneous landings of paratroops from the air.
For President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, ISIS’s presence in eastern Libya (as well as Sinai) poses an unacceptable peril to his country. He has been warned in a number of intelligence reports that the Islamic State’s terrorists have already penetrated some Egyptian towns and even infiltrated certain army units.
To counter the Egyptian plan of campaign, ISIS is rushing reinforcements to eastern Libya from Syria and Iraq. From Syria, they are traveling by air or sea through the Mediterranean; from Iraq, through the Sinai Peninsula, whence oil and drug rings smuggle them across the Suez Canal and Egypt.
DEBKAfile’s sources reveal that Egypt’s projected invasion of Libya was high on the agenda of American CIA Director John Brennan’s unannounced visit to Cairo on April 19 for a meeting with the president.
In reply to his visitor’s demand for precise information on Egypt’s Libyan campaign. President El-Sisi offered an assurance that he had no intention of keeping the Egyptian army in Libya. He would pull the troops out after defeating and disarming the jihadis and hand power to the Libyan government, which has established its seat in the eastern town of Tobruk near the Egyptian border and home to Libyan military bases and oil terminals.
FULL STORY HERE
Egypt Prepares Large Scale Ground And Air Assault