More airstrikes in Libya 'almost certain' as part of operation against Islamic State

Mark Austin

Former ITV News presenter

Scenes of devastation after violent clashes between Libyan interim government forces and loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte in 2011

The news from Libya is a telling signal of the way the US and Britain see the fight against the so-called Islamic State developing.

They are at war with IS in Iraq and Syria but it is not an exaggeration to say senior military figures in both countries are most worried about Libya.

Islamic State is well on the way to establishing a strong foothold amid the chaos that has engulfed that country; and, of course, it is perilously close to Europe.

In the absence of any reliable government or military force in Libya,they are wrangling with how to disrupt and degrade IS before it is too late.

The obvious strategy is the targeted strikes that the US has been carrying out in other areas. Britain has played its role by providing bases for the US jets, and the use of British planes in the future can't be ruled out.

Special forces could well already be in operation there but any substantial ground forces will not be an option in such an unstable military environment.

But more such air strikes in Libya are almost certain.