Islamic State has training camps in Libya: US commander

The Islamic State group has set up training camps in eastern Libya, and although they are not yet well developed, the US is watching them closely, a senior US general said yesterday.

AP Updated: Dec 04, 2014, 12:56 PM IST

Washington: The Islamic State group has set up training camps in eastern Libya, and although they are not yet well developed, the US is watching them closely, a senior US general said yesterday.

Army Gen. David Rodriguez, who heads US Africa Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that there may be "a couple of hundred" fighters undergoing training at the sites, but details are sketchy.

"We'll have to just continue to monitor and watch that carefully in the future to see what happens or whether it grows unabated," Rodriguez said.

The Islamic State group operates mainly in Syria and Iraq, and President Barack Obama has pledged to degrade and destroy the organization. The US and coalition partners have been conducting airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria for several months.

Rodriguez called the establishment of IS training camps in Libya a "nascent" development that does not amount to a large or well-organized effort. He did not say how many camps are operating.

Asked whether the camps are a potential target for US airstrikes, Rodriguez said, "That policy discussion is ongoing and we'll see how that goes," adding that the camps are not being targeted "right now."