The United States has reportedly stationed some two dozen special operations troops to Libya prior to a possible military campaign against Daesh (ISIL) terrorists in the North African state.
According to the Washington Post report citing unnamed US officials, the American troops have been positioned at two outposts in Libya since late last year.
The force is operating around the cities of Misrata and Benghazi to find potential allies and monitor possible threats, the Post said.
The United States is already engaged in anti-ISIL campaigns in Iraq and Syria. Washington has been criticized for its ineffective campaign against Daesh.
Last month, the US military said it had deployed spy drones to Libya where the Pentagon’s latest shift over Daesh would reportedly see added air fire against militants there.
The US has conducted two airstrikes in Libya in recent months targeting purported Daesh militants and commanders.
Back in January, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the United States was considering possible “military options” against the growing presence of Daesh in Libya.
The Takfiri terrorist group’s “metastasis” from Syria and Iraq to Libya and its increasing influence in the North African country is a “significant concern,” noted Cook, adding, “We’re looking at military options, a range of other options as… the situation in Libya unfolds.”
Libya has been grappling with violence and political uncertainty since the oil-rich country’s former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was deposed and later killed in 2011.
The terrorists have exploited the chaos in Libya and seized parts of Sirte, a city on the country’s Mediterranean coast. They have also been launching attacks on oil facilities along the country’s coast.