17 ISIS Fighters Reported Killed as US Ends Lull in Libya Airstrikes

17 ISIS Fighters Reported Killed as US Ends Lull in Libya Airstrikes by Eric Schmitt – New York Times

The United States military said on Sunday that it had conducted drone strikes on an Islamic State training camp in Libya, killing 17 militants in the first American airstrikes in the strife-torn North African nation since January.

A half-dozen “precision strikes” on Friday hit a training camp about 150 miles southeast of Surt, from which militants were moving fighters in and out of the country, stockpiling weapons and equipment, and plotting and conducting attacks, the Pentagon’s Africa Command said in a statement. Three vehicles were also destroyed.

Between August and December last year, the military carried out 495 airstrikes to drive the Islamic State out of Surt, a coastal city that until then was an Islamic State stronghold. On Jan. 18, just before President Barack Obama left office, armed Reaper drones and two Air Force B-2 bombers attacked Islamic State training camps south of Surt, killing more than 80 militants, including some the military said were involved in plotting terrorist attacks in Europe.

The most recent strikes underscore the major threat that the Islamic State still poses in the region, despite the heavy losses it has suffered. The militant group is believed to have several hundred fighters in Libya who have taken sanctuary in its vast ungoverned spaces to plot attacks inside and outside the country, and send fighters into neighboring countries like Tunisia…

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