Libya is a country in North Africa bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia. The capital of Libya is Tripoli.
In early May 2014, a violent conflict arose in Libya between Islamic groups and the forces of Libya’s elected parliament. As a result, Libya was broken up into its three historical districts. After the execution of Muammar Qaddafi, a government and security vacuum was created in Libya, which was subsequently filled by national and Islamic organizations, tribal, local, and regional militias, and jihadi organizations.
ISIS’s branch in Libya took full advantage of the vacuum that was created, the absence of a functioning government and the lack of international presence. During 2015, ISIS managed to build an outpost around the city of Sirte, in central Libya, where it established a territorial control zone. From this region, ISIS strove to take control of all of Libya and turn it into a springboard for terrorism and subversion towards the countries of North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and southern Europe. The territorial base that ISIS managed to build in Libya is the only one of its kind outside the borders of Iraq and Syria.
On December 5, 2016, after around seven months of fighting with the support of the US forces, the takeover of Sirte, ISIS’s so-called capital in Libya (and in North Africa as a whole) was completed, and the end of the military operations in Sirte and its liberation from the hands of ISIS was officially announced. However, pockets of the presence of ISIS remained in Libya. In addition, a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operates in Libya.