00:31 GMT +322 October 2017
    Tunisian soldiers stand in front of a trench dug along the Libyan border during a military exercise on February 6, 2016

    US Provides Tunisia With Hardware to Counter Daesh in Northern Africa

    © AFP 2017/ FETHI BELAID
    Middle East
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    In attempt to stop a North African expansion of the Daesh extremist group, the United States has provided Tunisia with military equipment to counter the inflow of terrorists from neighboring Libya, a country that has seen increased unrest and violence following a 2011 Washington-supported intervention.

    On Thursday, the US shipped hardware to Tunisia to bolster the North African country’s southern border. According to US official Amanda Dory, the allocation is part of a $20-million effort to enhance the military capability of the country.

    The delivery includes 12 light surveillance aircraft and 48 jeeps, as well as communications technologies to track extremists attempting to infiltrate the country, according to Dory.

    "These aircraft will be able to provide advanced warning to ground forces employing advanced digital communications technology to coordinate rapid introduction utilizing these new jeep vehicles or other existing assets," Dory said.

    Tunisian Defence Minister Farhat Horchani, who took part in a ceremony to accept the equipment, claimed that "sophisticated" hardware will help authorities deal with “regional security challenges."

    Following the coup in Libya, Daesh seized large areas in the country near the border with Tunisia, building training camps.

    Since that time Tunisia has suffered attacks by violent extremists targeting tourism, the most important sector of the country’s budget.

    In 2015, a mass shooting in Port El Kantaoui, near the city of Sousse, a popular tourist destination within the country, killed 38 people, and wounded 39, mostly Britons on holiday. This marked the deadliest terror attack in the country’s contemporary history.

    On Wednesday, a militant blew himself in the southern city of Tataouine, killing four policemen in the course of anti-terror operation.

    To prevent Daesh from destabilizing Tunisia, authorities have constructed a 125-mile protecting wall on its 285-mile border with Libya. Dory praised the step, adding that cooperation between the states will help to “confront growing instability in the region.”

    Horchani said Tunisia is expecting supplementary attack aircraft from various foreign powers, but did not elaborate.

    According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, Berlin is planning to allocate at least 10 million euros to Tunisia to counter Daesh.


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