Report: CIA monitoring extremists groups in the African desert

Malian soldiers, coached by instructors from the Czech Special Forces, during target practice this month near Loumbila, 15 miles northeast of Ouagadougou, the capital, in Burkina Faso. [Photo: New York Times]

The CIA is upgrading its presence in the African desert, by expanding a secret base deep in the African desert, to monitor Islamist extremist groups, including Al-Qaida and ISIS, thought to be operating from Libya, The New York Times reported.

In its report Saturday, the newspaper indicated that Washington had established partnerships, described as fruitful, with local partners in Libya.

It also noted that the US forces participated in the fighting, either directly or through proxies in 12 countries, including Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

The newspaper added that the Libyan forces, “Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous”, succeeded, with the help of US airstrikes, in uprooting ISIS from their uphold in Sirte.

According to the newspaper, the United States has the legal authority to conduct special operations in four countries, including Libya, and has carried out airstrikes in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

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