In a briefing for reporters that was supposed to be about progress against Ebola, the top US general in Africa confirmed that ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has set up training camps in eastern Libya.
AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez said ISIL has taken advantage of the political chaos in Libya to “introduce” fighters into the eastern part of the country.
“It’s mainly about people coming for training and logistic support right now, for training sites, and that’s what we see right now. As far as a huge command and control network I’ve not seen that yet,” General Rodriguez said. “The numbers are somewhere around a couple hundred is the estimate but again we don’t have a specific precise assessment of that right now.”
He also said it was unclear how many were foreign fighters and how many were homegrown: “What they’re trying to do is work the label, and get some kind of support and everything but we don’t have any precision on where the people are coming from that are being trained.”
Asked if he envisioned American air strikes against the camps akin to action in Syria and Iraq, General Rodriguez said that “policy discussion is ongoing”.