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US uses Italy island for Daesh war in Libya

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The United States is using a military base in a remote Italian island in the Mediterranean to lead its military campaign against Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) militants in north Libya.

The US spy planes have been taking off from the island of Pantelleria in southern Italy to carry out surveillance flights over Libya’s 2,000-km coast.

The US has also deployed special operations troops to the North African country since late last year to help with the fight against Takfiri terrorists.

Pentagon confirmed a few days ago that the US sent dozens of its special forces to Libya and that they were “meeting a variety of Libyans.”

The teams are operating around the cities of Misrata and Benghazi to find potential allies and monitor possible threats.

The United States is already engaged in the so-called coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Washington, however, has been criticized for its ineffective campaign against the militant group.

The US supports the internationally-recognized government in Libya, known as the Government of National Accord. Washington, however, deployed special troops to the strongholds of other two rival groups who also claim the right to rule Libya.

File photo shows a number of US special forces soldiers. ©Reuters

Earlier this week, the US and a number of other states said at the Libya talks in Vienna that they were ready to supply weapons to the Libyan government.

Daesh controls a tenth of Libya’s coastline and reportedly has 4,000 to 6,000 militants in the country.

ISIL is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, but has seized upon the chaos in Libya to fan out there. The terror group is believed to have focused some of its efforts on Libya as it has been losing ground in the Middle East.

Reports also said that the militant group’s senior figures have been dispatched from the Middle East to Libya to monitor the growth of the Takfiris there.

Libya was turned into a major battleground for rival militants when its long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled through the backing of Western powers some five years ago. The country has now two administrations, one, which is recognized by world powers, resides in the city of Tobruk and the other rules areas from the capital, Tripoli.

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