The UN chief has warned that Daesh terrorists may set up new terror cells in Libya and North Africa as Libyan forces are advancing further against the Takfiri group in Sirte, its major stronghold.
Ban Ki-moon said in a confidential report to the UN Security Council that the recent gains against Daesh in Libya could lead its members, including the foreign militants, “to relocate and regroup in smaller and geographically dispersed cells throughout Libya and in neighboring countries,” AFP reported.
He further said that the defeat of Daesh in their stronghold of Sirte “appears to be a distinct possibility,” which pushes many militants to flee south as well as west, to Tunisia.
“The future impact of scattered ISIL [Daesh] combatants on southern local armed groups may become an issue of concern,” he added.
Sirte, the major Daesh stronghold outside Iraq and Syria, had fallen to the hands of the Takfiris in February 2015.
According to the report, there are beween 2,000 and 5,000 Daesh terrorists from Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Mauritania are fighting in Sirte, Tripoli and Derna.
the report noted that scores of Tunisian terrorists have returned home from Libya “with the intent to conduct attacks.”
Daesh has been taking advantage of the chaos embroiling Libya since the NATO-backed overthrow and death of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi back in 2011.