News Analysis: Libya's war against IS is not over after several deadly attacks on army

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-26 22:50:02|Editor: yan
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By Mahmoud Darwesh

TRIPOLI, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Several attacks launched by Islamic State (IS) militants on eastern-based Libyan National Army checkpoints in recent months show that the war against the terrorist group is still not over, analysts said.

Two soldiers were killed and three wounded at a military checkpoint in south of the eastern city Ejdabia on Wednesday, in an attack claimed by IS.

Mohammed Al-Khoja, a Libyan researcher in the affairs of terrorist groups, said that the IS attack against the army was to send out a message that they would not back down from their goal of avenging the forces that took them out of their strong strongholds in Benghazi and Ejdabia.

"IS militants launch sudden attacks against the army, and torture and slaughter soldiers, and seek to strike the psychological state of the military. It's a method the group uses in most of its attacks," Al-Khoja told Xinhua.

"The army has succeeded in this psychological battle against IS, despite lack of resources and weapons. The soldiers of the army have a great will and courage in the face of IS. That's why the terrorists will not win," Al-Khoja added.

An army spokesman, Ahmad Mismari, said the army expected these attacks, as it is in constant war with terrorism.

"The army is fighting international terrorism, which is trying to make Libya a base for regional expansion," Mismari added, calling on neighboring countries and Europe to cooperate with the armed forces to prevent terrorists from accessing oil sources.

General Ahmed Al-Hisnawi, a retired Libyan army officer, said that the Libyan army must learn from past mistakes and try to avoid terrorist attacks.

"We remember the massacre of Al-Jufra, in which IS killed 12 soldiers at a military checkpoint," Al-Hisnawi told Xinhua.

IS attacked a military checkpoint in August in Al-Jufra city in central Libya, killing 12 army soldiers.

"The checkpoint attacked by IS is 60 km south of Ejdabia. It is a desert area that is easily accessible through the desert of Sirte or Al-Wahat," Al-Hisnawi said. "Reinforcements at the entrance to the strategic city of Benghazi should have been stepped up."

Al-Hisnawi pointed out that the dangers of IS will not end and countermeasures should be taken to deal with the terrorist attacks.

Following defeat in Benghazi and Sirte, the remaining IS fighters fled to vast desert and mountain areas in central and southern Libya.