French Defense Minister warns that IS militants might spill from Libya into Egypt and Tunisia


The French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Monday that it is quite likely that IS radical groups remaining in Libya would flee to Egypt or Tunisia after being pushed and defeated in their Libyan stronghold of Sirte,

“We should begin to look seriously at the question of the spread of the terrorists once Sirte … (is) emptied of the terrorists,” Le Drian told a defense conference in Paris.

IS took control of the city in 2015 and claimed it to be their capital of the self-proclaimed state in North Africa, yet in May 2016, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord waged war on the radicals in a bid to free the city and have now besieged the remaining of them in some parts in their last hideout – neighbourhood 3.

“They don’t disappear. There’s a new risk that appears,” Le Drian said, adding “Indirectly this will pose new risks for Tunisia and Egypt.”

He also said it was a “shame” that all the neighbouring states of Libya don’t meet” over the issue of terrorism and he terrorist groups of IS.

The Libyan city of Sirte is very strategic as it is located roughly halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast.

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