Monday, August 1, 2016

U.S. begins launching airstrikes against Islamic State in Libya

NY Times
W.J. Hennigan

The U.S. military said Monday it has begun launching airstrikes against Islamic State inside Libya, a further expansion of the campaign to defeat the militant group.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said that U.S. warplanes targeted the militants in a strip of Libya’s central coastline near Surt after President Obama authorized the operation.
“These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya,” Cookhe said in a statement, using an acronym for Islamic State.
Libya is now the fourth country in which the U.S. military is launching airstrikes against Islamic State militants, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
U.S. officials recently estimated that the Sunni extremist group has up to 6,000 fighters in Libya,  twice as many as a year ago. The Libya group is considered Islamic State's largest and most powerful affiliate outside Syria and Iraq.

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