TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – East Libyan forces said they had launched airstrikes on Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) after the Takfiri militants made incursions south and east of their former coastal stronghold of Sirte.
Forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said they had carried out airstrikes on Sunday against militants in the area of Ain Tarqft, between Sirte and the town of Waddan, 230 km (140 miles) to the south, Reuters reported.
Both Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces from the port city of Misrata, which led the campaign in Sirte last year, say they are carrying out frequent patrols to monitor Daesh movements in the area.
The terror group has grown bolder in recent weeks, setting up temporary checkpoints, attacking local forces, and taking over village mosques to lead prayers during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Libyan officials say.
The increased activity has raised concern that Daesh could regroup around Sirte, from where it was driven out in December by local forces. Most militants were killed in the nearly seven-month battle, but an unknown number fled into the desert.
Sirte lies at the center of Libya's Mediterranean coastline, on the dividing line between regions controlled by rival Libyan factions.