The number of ISIS fighters has doubled to some 6000 in the past year, according to US Army General David Rodriguez’ statements during a press briefing.
However, the very same top-US commander said that local Libyan militias had experienced some success in halting ISIS’ advances across the country.
Meanwhile, ISIS finds itself embroiled in heavy skirmishes at Benghazi and Sabratha. Furthermore, the Islamic State has established a foothold in the port city of Sirte and ISIS fighters have seized dozens of villages around it.
Also, Mr. Rodriguez noted that America would not provide military assistance until a functioning national government was formed.
In an attempt to defeat ISIS in Libya, the UN is now trying to form a unity government in the capital of Tripoli. Nevertheless, the latter city is controlled by the predominately Islamist ‘New General National Congress’ (GNC).
The GNC – whose largest party is the Muslim Brotherhood – is opposed by the more secular Tobruk-based government in the far east of the country.
However, General Rodriguez said it was unlikely that ISIS in Libya could become as powerful the group has become in Syria and Iraq.