A Bizarre Twist in Libya’s Militia Drama

The escalation of the conflict in Yemen, the debatable fate of negotiations to define and set limits upon Iran’s nuclear energy program, and the uneasiness among the Gulf states about both situations which has prompted President Obama to host a Gulf Summit at the White House, have all tended to overshadow recent events in Libya.

ISIS in Libya remains an alternative magnet to the ISIS operation in Iraq and Syria for foreign would-be jihadists, particularly from Tunisia and other North African states. What other Christians working in Libya¬ – besides the already brutally murdered Egyptian Copts and Ethiopian Orthodox – can be seized by ISIS as fodder for their murderous media theatrics? Are there Eritrean Christians in Libya? Southern Sudanese Protestants in areas under ISIS control?

Even the ongoing drama of illegal migrants taking ships from Libyan ports – which continues to unfold with ongoing loss of migrant life as well as successful rescues at sea, and with increasing numbers of these survivors crowding into detention centers in Italy – will not generate front page concern unless the daily death toll can approach the 800 fatalities from a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, possibly the last fighter jet in the hands of Libyan Dawn (the alliance of militias from Misrata that drove Libya’s legitimate government out Tripoli and installed a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime in its place) was shot down this past week. It was attacking targets in Zintan, where the local militia brigades support the legitimate, internationally recognized government now operating from Tobruk and Beida in the East.

Libyan National Army pushes towards Tripoli

At the same time, the Libyan National Army – which has been slowly pushing the Islamist forces in Benghazi into a…

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