The United States carried out an attack on multiple Islamic State training camps in Libya on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, killing more than 80 militants. The targets were involved in terrorist plots in Europe says the Pentagon, in what will be the final attack authorized by outgoing President Obama.
B-2 stealth bombers and reaper drones carried out the attack on camps that held about 100 operatives, terrorists-in-training according to the Pentagon and press secretary Peter Cook. More than 100 bombs were dropped, completely destroying the target. As Cook told the public on Thursday, it was “a risk we could not accept.” It was a 34-hour round trip for the bombers, who departed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Last year, American air forces aided the Libyan ground fighters in driving out ISIL from their stronghold in Surt, a coastal city. 495 strikes were authorized against trucks, heavy guns and command bunkers.
After the incidents in Surt, President Obama asked to be contacted if there was ever another opportunity to strike against the forces in Libya and was brought this chance late Wednesday night. As he leaves office on Friday afternoon, this will be one of his last actions as President. The new administration will have to deal with any further Islamic State presence.
As Ashton B. Carter, outgoing Secretary of Defense told the press on Thursday: “We need to strike ISIL everywhere they show up.” Carter also said that as long as the country is in a civil war-type state, ISIS and ISIL will continue to show up.
The Islamic State has attacked Libyan military forces, raided supply lines and established checkpoints all over the country, using the same safe-houses and areas Al-Qaeda did in Islamic Maghreb.
This bloody start to 2017 follows what was an exceptionally violent 2016. Reports out of the Guardian put the number of bombs dropped by US Military strikes last year to be in excess of 25,000.