As fighters from the Islamic State group build beachheads in lawless Libya, Italy is sending a naval fleet to monitor the Libyan coast and protect Italian shipping and oil rigs from jihadi attacks.

The mission, dubbed Mare Sicuro, or Safe Seas, will likely involve a landing helicopter dock vessel, two FREMM-class frigates, a patrol vessel and Predator UAVs, a defense source said.

A contingent of marines will join the mission, and use high-speed craft to intercept and board suspicious shipping, he added. […]