03:47 GMT30 September 2020
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    US Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Lumpkin said that ISIL is expanding in the Middle East and into North Africa as government instability grows in the regions.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — ISIL is expanding into North Africa and the Middle East as greater government instability grows in the regions, US Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Lumpkin told the US Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

    “ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] has been expanding across Northern Africa and into the Middle East,” Lumpkin said on Tuesday.

    Lumpkin explained that the United States currently has a limited amount of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, or ISR, in Africa, which hampers efforts to counter the ISIL.

    “We don’t have enough, period,” Lumpkin said. “We work the best to deal with what we can.”

    The Assistant Secretary of Defense said that Libya has become a safe haven for the ISIL as well as other terrorist organizations as governing forces within Libya fall apart.

    Lumpkin pointed out that the United States has been working with allies to degrade Islamic militant group Boko Haram by providing assistance to Kurdish military forces in Iraq and to moderate rebels in Syria as well as by conducting airstrikes against Al Qaeda in Syria.

    In his current position, Lumpkin focuses his work on special operations and low-intensity conflicts.


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