Obama: Bombing ISIS in Libya is a US security interest

Obama Defense Strategy

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday it is in the U.S. national security interest to support Libya’s emerging government’s fight against Islamic State, a day after his administration said it launched air attacks there.

The air strikes were undertaken to make sure that Libyan forces were able to finish the job of fighting the radical militant group and to increase stability there, Obama said.

The absence of stability in Iraq and Syria “has helped to fuel some of the challenges that we’ve seen in terms of the migration crisis in Europe,” Obama said.

U.S. warplanes have conducted strikes on seven targets in and around the Libyan coastal city of Sirte over the past two days, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

The targets included two tanks, an Islamic State fighting position, construction vehicles, military vehicles, a rocket launcher and an excavator.

The strikes have already helped Libyan forces gain ground against Islamic State, Davis said. One strike, for instance, hit a tank in a wooded area in the southwestern Sirte neighborhood of al Dular.

“That had really proved to be a menacing problem for the GNA,” he said, referring to Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord. “It was something they (Islamic State) had used repeatedly to beat back advances.” Since the tank was struck, Libyan forces have been able to advance into the neighborhood, he said.

The strikes are being carried out by both crewed planes and drones, Davis said, declining to give further details on where the aircraft were operating from. Some number of Islamic State fighters have been killed in the strikes thus far, though he declined to give a specific number.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Obama: Bombing ISIS in Libya is a US security interest

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.