The Mistrada-based Islamist coalition Fajr Libya has officially taken over a major Tripoli airport from a Zintan Brigade militia, a broad umbrella of groups aligned with Libya's interim government. The recent gain represents yet another blow to the central government, which has been unable hold the fractured country together since the fall of Gaddafi.
Last night, unidentified planes killed 15 Libyan Islamist leaders, according to the Libyan defense ministry. A spokesperson from (presumably) Fajr Libya blamed the Egyptian and United Arab Emirate governments for the attacks. Certainly, this would make sense. With increasing violence boiling in Egypt, the military-backed government has a strong impetus to target groups which are fomenting chaos within its borders. Since the 2011 uprising, Libya has acted as a transnational hub for arms smuggling, precipitating the 2013 Malian civil war and unrest in Egypt.
Needless to say, this brings up questions regarding the West's ' "fire and forget" intervention in Libya. One cannot expect a nascent democracy to stand virtually unsupported amid political chaos. Interventions under the umbrella of Responsibility to Protect cannot occur successfully short of long term support. Power vacuums are destructive forces which require strong political actors to fill them up, necessitating international players--preferably the ones who created it in the first place--to support a centralized entity.
According to BBC, America is preparing for airstrikes against Islamic State leaders in Syria. Hopefully, these attacks will create chaos within the ranks of IS, slowing down their operational momentum. However, if we've learned anything in our Global War on Terror, it's that terrorist groups are resilient. America has assassinated the number two and three leaders of Al-Qeada dozens of times, yet the organization has emerged stronger from it. Absent a broad strategy targeting the foundation of terrorist groups, it is impossible to substantially diminish their threat or defeat them entirely.
IS has purportedly ascertained drones, which they have successfully deployed in combat operations. Abu Aminah tweeted a photo of an IS drone recinotering the positions of Syrian Army Brigade 93 in Al-Raqqah. Such sophisticated surveillance and reconissance capabilities is worrisome, as they will supplement the ability of IS forces to conduct combat operations in Iraq and Syria to great effect. Good intelligence will oftentimes make or break an offensive. Furthermore, if the drone is armed, it enables IS to utilize air power against its enemies.