Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been plunged into political instability. Two rival authorities have been competing for power for nearly 18 months and the Islamic State organisation is taking advantage of this institutional chaos to take over part of the country.
The group's operational base is the coastal town of Sirte. From there, it controls a broad coastal strip and its territorial ambitions are clear, as evidenced by its attacks against the oil terminals of Ras Lanuf and Sidra in early January.
The city of Misrata, located west of Sirte, is now home to thousands of people fleeing the jihadists' advance.
Our colleagues from France 2 television have this report from Libya, followed by analysis from our guest.
A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett, Laura Burloux and Claire Pryde.
Christopher S. CHIVVIS
Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, Rand