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Libya: Western troops confirmed on the ground in Libya

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MEA Risk trackers are reporting that Libyan officials confirmed that a French combat squad comprised of 15 troops has been operating out of Benghazi’s Benina air base for more than 2 months, and have helped the pro-government Libyan National Army conduct 2 operations against the Islamic State and other insurgent groups in the eastern city of Benghazi.

British and American teams are also said to be operational in Benghazi and Misrata, which is located to the east of the IS stronghold Sirte, despite the fact that ultraconservatives vividly oppose the presence of Western forces in Libya. The French authorities have refused to comment.

Meanwhile, in Sabratha, an offensive was launched by Islamic State militants, who briefly entered the center of the western Libyan city of Sabratha, killing 17 before the local authorities forced their retreat. A citywide scouring operation has let IS take advantage of an apparent security gap, according to the local authorities.

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The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at www.MEA-Risk.com.