Is ISIS set to make a comeback?
The recently released UN report on Libya mainly discussed foreign involvement, specifically of Sudanese and Chadian militias, and how they “may lead to further instability”. However, the UN report also noted that counter-terror operations against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Libya by GNA and LNA forces, as well as continued military efforts by US forces “continue to disrupt the structure of both groups and temporarily reduce their capacity to conduct operations.” ISIS in Libya, according to the report, funds its operations through a range of nefarious activities that cause havoc for all Libyans – including robbery, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and smuggling, as well as taxing human trafficking networks.
It seems that ISIS would be under control for now. That is why it is of interest that the UN envoy included the efforts against ISIS in the report. However, recall that back in July, ISIS in Libya head Mahmud Massud al-Baraassi, declared that as ISIS was losing its position in Syria, Libya would become one of the “main axes” for future operations.
Continued fighting between the two main groups will lead to further chaos, a situation in which ISIS and other extremist groups thrive. Both sides of the conflict should keep one eye on ISIS as they continue to fight each other for control of Tripoli, and work to ensure the group remains marginalised.