IS setting up Libya training camps: US

The Islamic State group, which overran large areas of Iraq and Syria, has set up training camps in eastern Libya and the American military is closely monitoring, a top US general said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group advance spearheaded by a suicide bomber on a government-held enclave in eastern Syria killed at least 19 government troops and militia, a monitoring group said Thursday. The overnight bombing struck a government position near Deir Ezzor military airport, a vital supply line for the besieged troops holding out in the eastern city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Western countries have been increasingly worried that Libya’s political turmoil could provide fertile ground for Islamic extremists, but General David Rodriguez ruled out military action on the ‘nascent’ camps in the immediate future.

‘They put training camps out there,’ Rodriguez, head of US Africa Command, told reporters, referring to the IS organisation that seized territory in Iraq and neighbouring Syria this year in a brutal and swift offensive of beheadings and forced religious conversions. He described the IS activity in eastern Libya as ‘very small and nascent.’ ‘Around a couple hundred’ militants were present at the camps and US forces would continue to track the area to see if the IS presence expanded, said Rodriguez. The United States has been waging an air war against the IS group in Iraq and Syria, but when asked if the training camps in Libya were a potential target for American forces, Rodriguez said: ‘No, not right now.’

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