Daesh's main branch in Libya launched attacks Monday near a key oil export terminal on the Mediterranean, the latest in a growing offensive that national security sources say underscores the terrorist group’s desire to seize lucrative territory in the war-torn North African nation to fund its global ambitions, The Washington Times reported.
Although the Libyan “province” of Daesh has not fully seized control of any major oil operations, the group claimed Monday to have taken over the strategic coastal town of Ben Jawad before clashing with security forces around the nearby Es Sider export terminal.
The terminal sits near the heart of Libya’s “oil crescent,” a stretch of coastline between Benghazi and the central city of Sirte, which emerged months ago as the first significant stronghold for Daesh outside of its base in Syria and Iraq.
Libya descended into chaos after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, and rival governments and the militias that support them have since fought for control of the nation and its energy reserves. Daesh has seized on the security vacuum to grab territory in the nation.