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UKSF Training Anti-ISIS Forces In Libya

01.03.2016

United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) are acting as 'advisors' to anti-ISIS forces in Libya, it has been reported. [1]

The Telegraph reports that UKSF elements are acting in concert with United States special operations forces in the city of Misrata, where they are working with Libyan forces to counter the rising threat from ISIS. The elite troops are training units to take on the terror group which has been building its own army in Northern Africa, with anything up to 5000 fighters based in the Libyan city of Sirte alone.

The news follow earlier reports that a small number of UKSF personnel had been deployed to Libya to pave the way for a larger deployment of British infantry. Their role was reportedly to advise friendly Libyan military commanders in 'battlespace management'. A contingent from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were also said to be on the ground on an intelligence-gathering mission.

Libya is shaping up to be a significant battleground in the war against ISIS. France has recently deployed its own special operations forces to the country [2] and in recent weeks the United States carried out an air strike against an ISIS training camp.[3]

ISIS has been quick to exploit the chaos in Libya resulting from the civil war that has broken out since Colonel Gaddafi was ousted in 2011. Western diplomatic efforts have been focused on ending the civil war so the warring factions can united against ISIS.

During the 2011 rebellion, MI6 and British Special Forces 'advised' anti-regime forces. They travelled in rebel convoys, gave tactical advice, provided intelligence support and acted as forward air controllers for NATO war planes. Similar activities may well be on the cards again, only this time as part of a campaign to stop ISIS.

Libyan national security forces pictured following clashes with ISIS forces in the town of Sabratha. British, French and American special operations forces are in Libya to train and advise local military units to fight ISIS.

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