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'Libyan civil war giving opening for Daesh to rise', warns expert on the region

April 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm

A Daesh sign at the entrance of the city of Al-Qaim, in Iraq’s western Anbar province near the Syrian border, seen on November 3, 2017 [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images]

The current Libyan civil war is benefiting the terrorist group Daesh, according to one expert on the region, Anadolu Agency reported.

The sides in the civil war “which were fighting Daesh are now fighting each other,” said Tarek Megerisi, a policy fellow with the North Africa and Middle East program at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

This gives Daesh “the opportunity to entrench itself and to return to its previous form,” he warned, speaking at a NATO meeting in the Turkish Mediterranean.

It could again become “a very real threat, a potential chaos that we saw back in 2014 which Daesh gain a foothold in the country, caused the migration crisis, which I think Europe still suffers from,” he added.

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“It only took three days from the start of the war for Daesh to launch their first attack, invade small towns of Libya, and I think they had two more attacks in the state.”

Megerisi was speaking Saturday at the Rose-Roth – Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group (GSM) parliamentary seminar, hosted by Turkey’s parliament.

Lawmakers, officials, military leaders, and foreign mission chiefs from NATO member states are among the participants at the meeting, set to end Sunday.

Last week, military commander Khalifa Haftar, affiliated with a government based in eastern Libya, launched a campaign to capture the capital Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) is based.

Since the 2011 ouster of late President Muammar Gaddafi, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN’s support.

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