Islamic State Looks to Regroup in Libya After Losing Sirte

AFP PHOTO / HO / WELAYAT TARABLOS
AFP PHOTO / HO / WELAYAT TARABLOS

(REUTERS) – Islamic State has lost senior figures in an unsuccessful seven-month battle to defend its coastal stronghold in Libya, but there are already signs it will try to fight back through sleeper cells and desert brigades.

Libyan officials say hundreds of Islamic State militants may have escaped before the start of the battle for Sirte in May or during its early stages.

That has prompted fears of a counter-attack or insurgent campaign that could enable the militants to show they are still in business despite the rout, a heavy blow for a group that is also under intense military pressure in its core territory of Iraq and Syria.

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