UK to send troops to Tunisia to help stop IS crossing over from Libya


The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged to send troops to Tunisia, to help prevent ISIS fighters from getting into the country from neighbouring Libya.

This move comes after growing concerns from the West that the Islamic State (IS) is seeking to use Libya as a base to plan and carry out terrorist activities.

Last June, 30 holiday makers were killed when an Islamist gunman attacked a beach at a hotel in Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast.

“A training team of some 20 troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade is now moving to Tunisia to help to counter illegal cross-border movement from Libya in support of the Tunisian authorities,” UK’s secretary of state for defence Michael Fallon told Parliament on Monday.

“I … am extremely concerned about the proliferation of Daesh (IS) along the Libyan coastline, which is why we have been urgently assisting the formation of a new Libyan government,” he said.

Jihadist groups have taken advantage of the rampant chaos in Libya to expand their presence, as fighters loyal to the IS have taken control of the coastal city of Sirte.

and fighters loyal to Islamic State have taken control of the coastal city of Sirte.

Western officials say they are discussing air strikes and special forces operations in Libya against the group that is seeking to set up a cross-border Islamic caliphate and has already seized large areas of Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

Fallon said Britain was not currently planning to deploy ground troops to Libya in a combat role.