In coordination with Libya’s Government of National Accord and aligned forces, U.S. forces conducted six precision airstrikes in Libya against an ISIS desert camp on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, at 7:06 p.m. local time, killing 17 ISIS militants and destroying three (3) vehicles.
The camp was located approximately 150 miles southeast of Sirte.
The camp was used by ISIS to move fighters in and out of the country; stockpile weapons and equipment; and to plot and conduct attacks.
ISIS and al-Qaeda have taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting, inspiring and directing terror attacks; recruiting and facilitating the movement of foreign terrorist fighters; and raising and moving funds to support their operations. These terrorists have sought safe haven and freedom of movement in Libya to launch external terror attacks in neighboring countries, and their operatives in Libya have also been connected to multiple attacks across Europe.
Prime Minister Sarraj, the GNA, and their aligned forces have been stalwart and valued partners against terrorism. While Libya has made considerable progress against ISIS, most notable by dislodging ISIS fighters from Sirte last year, the terrorists have tried to take advantage of political instability there to create safe havens in parts of the country. Left unaddressed, this would allow for this violent terrorist organization to inspire attacks against America, our allies and American interests around the world.
The United States will track and hunt these terrorists, degrade their capabilities and disrupt their planning and operations by all appropriate, lawful, and proportional means, including precision strikes against their forces, terror training camps and lines of communication, as well as partnering with Libyan forces to deny safe havens for terrorists in Libya.
The United States stands by our Libyan counterparts and supports their efforts to counter terror threats and defeat ISIS in Libya. We are committed to maintaining pressure on the terror network and preventing them from establishing safe haven.