Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

ISIS Sets Eye on Tunisia…Ben Gardane, Tunisia to Replace Raqqa, Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisia- ISIS terrorist groups have recently stepped up power channeled to target Tunisia from within its Libya centered headquarters, West sources warned. The sources confirmed that the last attack on Ben Gardane, a commune and coastal town in south eastern Tunisia near borders with Libya, proves evident drawback and permeability of the security status in Tunisia.

Sources also highlighted that ISIS fighters have achieved worry-raising operations which point to underlying intentions of the terrorist organization centralizing in Tunisia. Taking refuge and headquarters in Tunisia would replace the space-loss ISIS suffered in Raqqa, Syria, which they have fled after incessant pounding of the coalition’s air force.

The Ben Gardane attacks which took place last March are a retaliating campaign avenging U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS locations in Sabratha city, Libya. The airstrike had reportedly taken down ISIS leader, who is of Tunisian origins, Nour Addeine Shoshan.

Attacking Ben Gardane, ISIS hopes to establish a new off-shoot outside Libya in light of the Washington campaign moving towards an intensified military intervention in Libya.

Alternatively, Prime Minister of the Libyan UN-backed government of national accord GNA Fayez Al-Sarraj, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, down-sized the ISIS threats imposed on the security and political affairs of both of Tunisia and Libya.

Al-Sarraj considered that the quest for Libyan sovereignty will be won in recognition to the support offered by Tunisia, Algeria and many other neighboring countries, and by the virtue of the U.N.-brokered agreement.

“Neighboring countries are supporting us until security is reestablished across the region, and until the new state’s sovereignty is completed,” said Al-Sarraj.

“Libya-Tunisian bordering zones are a bridge for partnership in which terrorists will not find victory in,” he added.

Furthermore, Libyan military sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that a series of secret meetings between representatives of US and British forces and local leaders loyal to Al-Sarraj’s government were held at the Maitiqa base. The sources asserted that they also had information about the presence of British special forces that are fighting alongside the Misrata brigades against ISIS.