Daesh Extends Influence in Libya - French Defense Minister

© AP Photo / FileIslamic state. Libya
Islamic state. Libya - Sputnik International
According to French Defense Minister, Daesh militant group has increased its influence in Libya.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Daesh (IS/the Islamic State) militants have increased their influence in Libya, advancing deeper into the country, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday.

"They are in Sirte, they control an area of 250 kilometers [155 miles] along the coast, but they have started pushing deeper and seeking access to oil wells and oil reserves," Le Drian said on France's RTL radio station.

Earlier this month, the United Nations said in a report that Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries, had up to 3,000 fighters in Libya, and was struggling to expand its presence in the country.

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Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the Arab Spring protests in early 2011 led to a civil war and the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

There are currently two rival governments in the county: the internationally recognized Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the self-proclaimed General National Congress, based in the capital city of Tripoli.

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