American forces kill 17 ISIS jihadists in Libya

U.S. forces carry out six air strikes against ISIS camp in Libya.

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Elad Benari,

ISIS flag
ISIS flag
Reuters

United States forces carried out six "precision air strikes" against an Islamic State (ISIS) camp in Libya, killing 17 people, the U.S. Africa Command said Sunday, according to AFP.

The command said the air strikes were conducted on Friday, in coordination with Libya's Government of National Accord.

The strikes hit a desert camp located 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of the city of Sirte, the announcement said.

"The camp was used by ISIS to move fighters in and out of the country; stockpile weapons and equipment; and to plot and conduct attacks," it said.

The air strikes were believed to be the first in Libya by U.S. forces since President Donald Trump took office in January.

The last known American air strikes were carried out in early January under then-president Barack Obama, targeting two ISIS camps where jihadists were suspected of actively planning operations in Europe.

Sunday’s statement said 17 ISIS jihadists were killed and three vehicles were destroyed in Friday's strikes. It provided few other details.

"The United States will track and hunt these terrorists, degrade their capabilities and disrupt their planning and operations by all appropriate, lawful, and proportional means, including precision strikes against their forces, terror training camps and lines of communication, as well as partnering with Libyan forces to deny safe havens for terrorists in Libya," the command said, according to AFP.

ISIS has been steadily gaining power in Libya over the past several years, as the group has capitalized on the disarray in the country following the ouster of former President Muammar Qaddafi, and spread the group's influence into the north African nation.

ISIS's presence in Libya made headlines two years ago when it broadcast the brutal mass execution of 21 Coptic Christians, triggering reprisal air raids from Egypt and a mass-exodus of Egyptian workers from the country.

Also in 2015, ISIS terrorists published a video in which they vowed that their conquest in Libya will serve as a springboard for a European invasion.








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