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UK troops 'destroy Islamic State group vehicles in Libya' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

UK troops 'destroy Islamic State group vehicles in Libya'

Troops celebrate after capturing Abu Grein from the IS group in Libya [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 May, 2016

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Reports are emerging of UK special operations attacks on the Islamic State group in Libya.
A military commander in Libya has said that British special forces blew up an Islamic State group "suicide truck" earlier this month. 

The vehicle was destroyed as it proceeded, rigged with explosives, toward a bridge the country's northwestern city of Misrata.

Speaking to The Times, Mohammed Durat, a commander of Mistrata's Third Force said: "Our British friends seemed quite calm about it that day."

Durat also added that British special forces had plotted the coordinates and ranges for the strike accurately, saying that they "blew up the suicide truck with a huge explosion, the biggest we have seen yet. Not one of our forces was killed".

A British Ministry of Defence spokesman later said that they did not comment on operations by special forces.

This news comes after UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said last month that London had no plans to deploy ground troops to Libya.

Libya
Libya's IS franchise is based in the
coastal city of Sirte [TNA]


Fresh efforts

Libya's Government of National Accord [GNA] and forces of a rival authority based in eastern Libya have recently embarked on a race to evict IS from its stronghold in Sirte, 400km (250 miles) east of Tripoli.

The latest drive comes as the unity government pushes for arms from the West, including jet fighters and helicopter gunships, as Europe and the United States become increasingly concerned about the threat from IS' power base on Libya's coast.

With this as a key concern for the US and European countries, a 25-member group of nations has agreed to drop an embargo on the unity government, which has been imposed on Libya's warring parties since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown five years ago.

Western powers are hoping a weapons delivery will help the GNA's to assert its authority and defeat the IS group militarily.




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