Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | United States | Libya | ISIS

US Bombers Strike ISIS Camps in Libya, Kill 80-Plus Militants

Image: US Bombers Strike ISIS Camps in Libya, Kill 80-Plus Militants

B2 bomber. (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 01:44 PM

U.S. aircraft targeted and eliminated two camps for Islamic State fighters in Libya, killing more than 80 militants, the Defense Dept. said Thursday.

The militants targeted in the airstrikes included Islamic State members "actively planning operations against our allies in Europe," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.

"These were critically important strikes for our campaign and a clear example of our enduring commitment to destroy ISIL's cancer not only in Iraq and Syria but everywhere it emerges."

The strikes were carried out by B-2 bombers as well as unmanned aircraft, according to the defense official, who added that the attack was delayed because the camps moved to roughly 28 miles southeast of Sirte.

The B-2 bombers flew more than 30 hours roundtrip from Missouri and dropped about 100 munitions of a type known as a Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, which is equipped with GPS guidance control to help it find its target with precision. Each B-2 is capable of carrying up to 80 JDAMs.

But it is unusual for the U.S. to send the bomber on a counterterrorism mission, particularly against such a modest number of targets like the camps in Libya.

President Barack Obama ordered the strike days ago, and it is expected to be the last military operation ordered by the president.

Another defense official told CNN that the fighters were seen just before the attack wearing tactical vests, carrying weapons and mortars, and standing in formation. The number of killed is unknown, though it’s believed to be "several dozen."

The official also said that no civilians were at the camps or killed in the strike.

"We are committed to maintaining pressure on ISIL and preventing them from establishing safe haven," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

"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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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U.S. aircraft targeted and eliminated two camps for Islamic State fighters in Libya, killing dozens according to CNN.
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2017-44-19
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 01:44 PM
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