Counter-ISIL operation moves into Libya

By Tony Bertuca  
August 1, 2016 at 12:29 PM

The United States has conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Sirte, Libya, marking an expansion of the counter-ISIL operation, according to a Pentagon announcement.

"Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the United States military conducted precision air strikes against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in an Aug. 1 statement.

President Obama authorized the strikes following a recommendation from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

"GNA-aligned forces have had success in recapturing territory from ISIL thus far around Sirte, and additional U.S. strikes will continue to target ISIL in Sirte in order to enable the GNA to make a decisive, strategic advance," Cook said. "The U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya. These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies."

Cook's statement did not mention the units used in the airstrikes, nor whether they were conducted by manned or unmanned aircraft.