ISIS camps bombed in Libya by US

Tracy FergusonJan 20, 2017

"This was done with the cooperation" of the Government of National Accord, an official said, noting that outgoing President Barack Obama had authorised the move.

Spokesman Peter Cook said on January 19 that the overnight strikes were aimed at eliminating IS militants who had escaped their former stronghold of Sirte.

The B-2s, each capable of carrying as many as 80 precision guided bombs, hit the camps in the desert where USA intelligence officials believed ISIS was training scores of fighters to launch terror attacks against targets outside Libya.

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The air raids late Wednesday were "an extension of the successful operation the USA military conducted past year to support Libyan forces in freeing Sirte from [Daesh's] control" with the goal of denying the group any new safe haven, Cook said. Sirte is almost 28 miles southwest of the training camps that were struck last night. He said the targets "may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred in Europe".

In early December, ISIS was defeated in Sirte by local Libyan militia fighters who had surrounded the city over the summer.

The airstrikes began with 108 precision-guided bombs dropped from B-2 aircraft that took off from Missouri.

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In a rare move, the strikes were carried out using two B-2 bombers that departed from the American midwest on a more than 30-hour mission.

The Pentagon portrayed Wednesday night's airstrikes as a mop-up effort emanating from the Sirte campaign, suggesting that the U.S. bombardment went unfinished. On December 20, the United States declared a successful end to the bombing. "They are creating "nests" in Libya in order to reconstitute their forces and plan external operations". "These strikes will degrade Isil's ability to stage attacks against Libyan forces and civilians working to stabilize Sirte, and demonstrate our resolve in countering the threat posed by ISIL to Libya, the United States and our allies", said Cook. Additionally, the US military has a wide array of less expensive weapons platforms stationed in the Middle East and North Africa, which can handle a Libya-sized contingency at a fraction of the flight time and at substantially lower cost.

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