You are here

US hits Daesh positions in Libya as air war enters third month

Pentagon announces its latest front in war against Daesh on August 1

By AFP - Oct 04,2016 - Last updated at Oct 04,2016

Fighters from Libyan forces allied with the UN-backed government pray in neighbourhood Number Three in Sirte, Libya, on Monday (Reuters photo )

WASHINGTON — US military aircraft pounded the Daesh terror group positions in the extremists former Libyan stronghold of Sirte over the weekend, as the US air campaign entered its third month, the Pentagon said on Monday.

According to the US military’s Africa Command, US pilots conducted 20 air strikes on Sunday alone, most of them against “enemy fighting positions”.

 When the Pentagon announced its latest front in the war against Daesh on August 1, officials said the campaign to help local forces push the extremists from the coastal city of Sirte would likely be quick, taking “weeks, not months”.

 The military action followed a request by the UN-supported Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), and President Barack Obama’s administration has stressed that ongoing US involvement would be framed by the interim Libyan government’s needs.

Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the timeline for the US air campaign continues to be dictated by the GNA.

“Every one of the strikes we do is based on a request from them, and we are down now into the last, densest part of the city,” Davis said.

“As they get to the dense areas, it’s very hard to take out these sniper positions with anything other than air strikes.”

 The Tripoli-based GNA launched an operation in May to retake Sirte, the hometown of slain dictator Muammar Qadhafi that the extremists have controlled since June 2015.

Since the US air operation began August 1, US warplanes, drones and choppers have conducted more than 200 strikes.

Many of the strikes are being conducted from the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean.

The vessel can launch Marine Corps AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and Harrier jets.

The fighting has left more than 450 GNA fighters dead and 2,500 wounded. The Daesh death toll is not known.

 

The fall of Sirte, 450 kilometres east of Tripoli, would represent a significant blow to Daesh, which has also faced a series of setbacks in Syria and Iraq.

up
28 users have voted.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.