Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Karim Mezran cowrites for the New York Times on ISIS in Libya and the UN Security Council’s vote to extend the fight against ISIS to Libya:
Last month’s terrorist attack on Tunisia’s national museum highlighted the threat posed by the rise of the Islamic State in Libya. There is a sense of urgency in the West that something must be done before violence by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and its affiliates spreads even further and reaches Europe. Last week, the United Nations Security Council voted to extend the fight against the Islamic State to Libya, but it is unclear how this will be implemented.
Bernardino Leon, the United Nations special envoy for Libya, has been trying for months to broker a deal between the major Libyan factions with two goals: a cease-fire and a national unity government. This would bring together the internationally recognized House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is dominated by anti-Islamists, and Libya Dawn, a coalition of Islamists, militias from the western city of Misrata and armed groups close to the Berber minority.