US military launches airstrikes against ISIS terrorists in Libya
The US military has carried out airstrikes against jihadist militant group ISIS in Libya on 22 September.
The latest operation, which occurred in a camp about 150 miles south-east of Sirte, was conducted by the US in collaboration with Libya's government of national accord and aligned forces.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) estimated that 17 ISIS militants were killed in six precision airstrikes.
DoD spokesman Army colonel Rob Manning said: "ISIS and al-Qaida have taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting, inspiring and directing terror attacks.”
The desert camp was used by ISIS to move fighters in and out of the country, stockpile weapons and equipment, as well as plot and conduct attacks.
The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) stated that such spaces are used to recruit and facilitate the movement of foreign terrorist fighters and to raise and move funds to support their operations.
AFRICOM officials said: "These terrorists have sought safe haven and freedom of movement in Libya to launch external terror attacks in neighbouring countries, and their operatives in Libya have also been connected to multiple attacks across Europe.”
The US tracks, degrades and disrupts the terrorists' planning and operations by conducting precision strikes, terror training camps and lines of communications.
It will also partner with Libyan forces to deny safe havens for terrorists in Libya, according to Manning.
The US supports Libyan counterparts’ efforts to counter terror threats and defeat ISIS.
Image: Fayez al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of Libya's unity government, and Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of US Africa Command. Photo: courtesy of Nate Herring via Africom.