National Security & Defense

Three-Dozen ISIS Fighters Killed in Series of U.S. Strikes in Libya

ISIS fighter in Raqqa, Syria, June 2014 (Stringer/Reuters)

The U.S. military killed 36 ISIS militants in a series of three airstrikes in Libya over the past eight days, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced Friday.

“This ongoing campaign against ISIS-Libya demonstrates that U.S. Africa Command persistently targets terrorist networks that seek to harm innocent Libyans,” read a statement from AFRICOM’s director of intelligence, Navy Rear Admiral Heidi Berg. “We will continue to pursue ISIS-Libya and other terrorists in the region, denying them safe haven to coordinate and plan operations in Libya.”

Seventeen ISIS members were killed in an airstrike on Thursday in southwest Libya. That strike followed a strike Tuesday near Murzuq that killed eleven jihadis, and a previous strike in the same area late last week that killed eight alleged fighters, AFRICOM said.

Tuesday’s airstrike “was conducted to eliminate ISIS terrorists and deny them the ability to conduct attacks on the Libyan people,” said AFRICOM’s director of operations, U.S. Army Major General William Gayler. “This effort demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. and our Libyan partners to deny safe havens to terrorists.”

None of the three strikes, which were the first such U.S. operations in Libya in over a year, appear to have caused civilian casualties, according to AFRICOM.

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