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Italian Parliament Votes to Increase Troops in Libya

ISIS IN ACTION
On 15 January, Ghanaian security forces arrested three returnees from Libya planning a terrorist-related attack. One of the suspects, Ishmael Ali Musa, is alleged to have connections to ISIS in Libya. The men were found to possess grenades, ammunition, and explosives thought smuggled into Ghana from Libya. The arrests are a part of joint military and police “intelligence-led operations” focusing on Ghanaian returnees with possible links to ISIS in Libya.

On 19 January, the al-Bunyan al-Marsous Sirte Security Force deputy commander, Ali Rafida, announced they had been tracking ISIS fighters for three days in the valleys south of Sirte.

WESTERN RESPONSE
On 17 January, the Italian parliament voted to increase its military presence in Libya to combat illegal immigration and counter-terrorism threats. This announcement has increased political tensions between Misrata and the House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tubruq. The HoR are calling for Italy to remove its forces, which are currently positioned in Misrata to manage the military hospital established in September 2016 during the anti-ISIS operations in Sirte.

On 19 January, the GNA’s Foreign Ministry requested the Italian government to clarify its recent decision to increase its troops in Libya. Italy’s embassy in Tripoli has insisted that there is inaccurate information circulating around the media and it said nothing had changed. On 22 January, the HoR held a special session to discuss the controversial Italian vote, condemning it as a “violation of Libya’s sovereignty.” Several prominent Libyan activists and diplomats have also deplored the move.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.