US has extended mission in Sirte for one more month

Libyan National Accord military vehicle in Sirte. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan National Accord military vehicle in Sirte. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

US President, Barack Obama has extended the U.S. military’s combat mission in Libya for another month at the request of senior military leaders, Fox news reported.

The decision keeps two U.S. Navy warships off the coast of Libya to continue striking ISIS and assist Libyan ground forces of the Government of National Accord fighting the terror group of IS in the coastal city of Sirte.

USS Wasp, a large amphibious assault ship loaded with over 1,000 Marines as well as Harrier jets and Cobra attack helicopters, will remain off the coast of Libya – as will her escort ship, USS Carney, a guided-missile destroyer.

“The destroyer is close enough to be seen from shore,” one defense official said.

U.S. Marine Corps jets and attack helicopters from USS Wasp have conducted 92 airstrikes against ISIS in Libya as of Monday, according to statistics provided from the U.S. military’s Africa Command.

Marine Harrier jets have conducted 124 missions over Libya against IS since airstrikes began on Aug. 1. Marine Cobra attack helicopters have flown 31 missions as of Tuesday, according to statistics provided by one defense official who requested anonymity.

Another defense official told Fox News he expected U.S. airstrikes to be ending soon because ground forces loyal to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli which the U.S. military is supporting is now in control of 90 percent of Sirte.

The Libyan city of Sirte is very strategic as it is located roughly halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast.

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