MENASource

The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) has expanded beyond its original territory in Iraq and Syria and is working to establish a base of operation in North Africa. Libya is the catalyst for such aspirations, given its chaos since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

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General Khalifa Haftar has been appointed top commander of the Libyan army by Aguilah Saleh, President of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

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As the pressure on the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) mounts against the backdrop of coalition attacks and a Kurdish offensive in Syria’s Raqqa region, militant recruitment has become a pressing matter for the radical organization, which has lost many fighters in clashes around Iraq and Syria.

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Armed Houthis took over a special forces army base in Sana’a early on Wednesday.

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend Tunisia 200 million euros this year to finance energy and industry projects. The EBRD has financed twenty projects in Tunisia, under a budget of 210 million euros since it began its activities in the country in September 2012. Tunisia faces pressure from its international lenders to curb high public spending, including by cutting politically sensitive subsidies on basic foods and fuel. Job security and high living costs are Tunisians' main worries.

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The Tobruk-based House of Representatives (House) voted to suspend its participation in the UN-sponsored dialogue with its rival, the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC).

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The murder of twenty Coptic Christians by Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants in Libya and the release of a video of their execution on February 14 sent shockwaves through Egyptian communities. The Egyptian government’s response was swift.

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UN war crimes investigators said Friday that they were prepared to publish secret lists of alleged war criminals in Syria to help stem an "exponential rise" in human rights violations in the country.

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My friend and former governmental colleague Robert Ford was recently depicted in a newspaper article as having done a U-turn on the question of arming Syrian nationalists currently resisting both the Assad regime and the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). Ambassador Ford will, I suspect, take pen to paper soon to present a more nuanced account of his actual concerns, which center on unity of command and a total break between beleaguered nationalist fighters inside Syria and the Nusra Front.

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Almost four years to the day of the start of Libya's civil war, February 17, 2011, the country remains in turmoil. The failure of Libya's "transition" into some sort of stable democracy along with the ensuing civil war has not only qualified it as the worst in the Arab Spring so far, but also as a symbol of the international community's impotence and inability to manage a small, relatively easy, post-conflict country—even when it unites to that end.

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