U.S. Special Forces ‘sent on Libya mission’


Originally published in Al-Arabiya

‘Special forces from the United States, France and Algeria have been dispatched to Libya’s south to target terrorist networks, The Times newspaper reported Friday.

The U.K. daily quoted Olivier Guitta, director of research at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think-tank, as saying the Special Forces’ objective was al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim). Guitta said Western states were inclined more than ever to intervene in the North African state.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a one-eyed Algerian militant believed to be responsible for killing foreign oil workers in Algeria last year, was of particular interest to Western states, Guitta said. “The issue of terrorism is huge and for the time-being they are looking at getting the south cleaned up as much as possible from Aqim and finding Mokhtar Belmokhtar,” he said. “But at the same time if they can get the country to be more stable and less inclined to helping other Islamist militias, then they’ll do it,” he added.’

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