Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia to support Libya to fight ISIS
Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia have agreed to step up security measures along their borders with Libya and to support the Libyan army in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), an Algerian security source said yesterday.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Anadolu Agency: "Military leaders from Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have agreed, during meetings held on Thursday and Friday in Cairo, to support the Libyan army's troops and provide them with equipment, ammunition and intelligence in order to combat militants loyal to ISIS."
"The leaders have signed an agreement to tighten security measures along the border with Libya, in order to prevent the arrival of jihadi fighters to areas controlled by ISIS, through tighter border controls between the three countries," he said.
"The military leaders who participated in the meeting held direct consultations with their governments during the talks," he added.
The meetings came after security reports revealed the increasing power of military groups loyal to ISIS in Libya.
Algeria on alert as Libya-based Isis pushes against border
ISIS has rampaged all the way from inner Libya to the Algerian border, prompting the Algerian military to raise its alert level, moving tens of thousands of troops over the past few months to the thousand kilometers of desert it shares with Libya.
Middle East Monitor relays the words of an Algerian military source who spoke with the Turkish Anadolu news agency: “Algeria’s Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army, Admiral Ahmed Kaid Saleh, ordered all ground forces, the national gendarmerie, Special Forces and Air Force stationed in the border areas with Libya to increase their alert level.”
The source further asserted that Algerian troops have been given shoot-on-sight orders against any militants who try to cross the border, following the capture of the Libyan city of Sirte by ISIS-aligned forces. Officials from Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt have scheduled a meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Libya.
Algeria is also dealing with a growing ISIS threat within its borders, following years of trouble from the Islamic State’s godfathers in al-Qaeda. In March, Algerian authorities found it necessary to evacuate a hundred Turkish workers from a roadway project near Algiers for 24 hours, in response to a credible threat from ISIS militants. An ISIS sect called the “Caliphate Soldiers,” splintered off from al-Qaeda, remains a menace after killing a French hostage last year.
In early May, the Middle East Monitor reported that Interpol has given the Algerian government a list of fifteen hundred ISIS operatives, from 33 different countries, who might be attempting to enter Algeria using forged passports.