By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
ISIS is now running a bombing campaign in retaliation to the Egyptian-Libyan strikes on ISIS’s installations which came as a result of the massacre of 21 Coptic Christians.
A series of bomb blasts in a small eastern Libyan town of Al-Qubba killed at least 41 people and left dozens more wounded, according to a spokesman for the country’s ministry of health, who also characterized the attack as a reprisal for Egyptian airstrikes early this week against Islamist fighters.
ISIS’s campaign is focusing on government installations. Egypt’s embassy in Tripoli for example was also the target of a bombing last November. Egypt is a key backer of Libya’s internationally recognised government which has retreated to the eastern city of Tobruk.
There were massive craters at the sites of the blasts, as well as dozens of dead victims spread out on the street covered in blankets.
Libyan air force retaliated as a result by attacking ISIS’s installations in Darneh.
At least five Egyptian employees of the gas station were among the dead, prompting suspicion among officials in the Tobruk government that the Egyptian migrant workers were the attacks’ primary targets.
Friday’s bombing bookends a volatile week in Libya, where a wave of fresh bloodshed has demonstrated Islamic State’s powers to reach beyond its base in Syria and Iraq while drawing other countries into a burgeoning regionwide war.
But what is worthy of mention is that the Egyptian-Libyan relations are deteriorating. Libya in fact condemned Al-Sisi of Egypt for the airstrikes against ISIS’s installations condemning Egypt for the death of 3 civilian casualties to even go as far as denying that the ISIS massacre of 21 Copts happened on Libyan territory as announced by Libyan army spokesman in Arabic.
In the hours after the Al Qubba attack, the Tripoli-based Islamist government condemned the bombings but blamed them on Egypt’s “terrorist” leader and his “traitor” Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar.
Libya Dawn’s statement accused Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of working with Mr. Haftar to “prove the existence of what they call terrorism in Libya to give Sisi and his allies an excuse to occupy Libya.”
So besides that the murders of the Egyptians and Egypt’s attacks have heaped added instability on a country already divided between nationalists (the internationally-recognized, democratically elected parliament based out of the eastern city of Tobruk) and ISIS (which leads the different Islamists factions), and now the Egyptian and Libyan governments has a historic feud which continues. This divide between Libya and Egypt will definitely be in favor of ISIS. ISIS is clever and is causing the mayhem in order to further blame Egypt and add to the rift.
Egyptian diplomats were at the United Nations this week urging member states to form a UN-backed coalition for fighting Islamic State in Libya. But Mr. Sisi’s urgings were met with blame by Western diplomats regarding Mr. Sisi’s human rights record.
Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs, Sameh Shukri, met with American policy makers in Washington on Thursday to urge their help in assembling an international coalition to fight Islamic State and other extremist groups, according to Egypt’s foreign ministry.
But all this is falling on deaf ears and the rift between the United States and Egypt continues. All this will advance and catapult ISIS and will further the Islamist expansion into Egypt (through the Muslim Brotherhood) and Islamist expansion into North Africa by ISIS.